Milwaukee Artist of the Week – 12/12/14 – Canopies

This week’s Milwaukee Artist of the Week is Canopies, a synth-heavy indie band that wastes no time with their debut, “Maximize Your Faith”. Canopies have had about as good of a kickstart as you can have leading up to your first record. Distributed through Minneapolis label Forged Artifacts, the stream of the album has been picked up by several local media sites, and most importantly, national exposure via SPIN Magazine. Now that’s a way to come out swinging. However, this isn’t the band’s first brush with major exposure; single “Choose Yer Own Adventure” was picked up by Stereogum, as well. With that initial buzz, the outlook is definitely good for the band.

Press aside, “Maximize Your Faith” is definitely worth the hype. From the first synth-chords of “Getting Older”, you know that you’re about to hear a well-produced, layer heavy indie record. The song was released as a 7” single in spring, and deservingly so. A strong start that only carries on throughout the rest of the album. If you had to compare, Canopies sound like an upbeat MGMT, doing a collaboration with Fitz and The Tantrums, and Prince is somehow thrown in. There’s enough psych and pop influences to take Canopies’ sound, and turn it into something completely unique. Songs like “The Plunderers and the Pillagers” are filled with bright, retro-sounding synths and driving guitars that sound like they shouldn’t compliment each other, but they do brilliantly. No matter what you listen to from this album, you realize that it’s all just really well done, plain and simple.

By the time you get to “Choose Yer Own Adventure” there’s no lack of energy or loss of interest from the band. With a flurry of echoey vocals and bending synth lines, the single-ready qualities of the song shine. Then, in a bit of a turn, it’s followed by “The Year of the Jubilee”, with a beat and electronic production that brings to mind a number of artists, from Beck to former locally infamous groups like Citizen King and Terrior Bute. Nothing is really skip-worthy from start to finish, which is all that you can hope for from an album.

At face value, Canopies have created a great album. If you think beyond that, They’ve etched their names into both Milwaukee’s as well as a national music scene with “Maximize Your Faith”. There’s nothing but positives radiating from this band, and undoubtedly, they can continue to go forward from here and, along with a host of other bands, break through to the masses with some great music from their hometown.