At its core, music is supposed to generate a feeling worth grasping onto and holding tight. Whether that feeling is comfort, rage, solidarity, fear, love, or something in between, any music worth a listen finds a way to connect. Toronto, Ontario-based rock quintet Ascot Royals – Jimmy Chauveau (vocals), Ben Chauveau (keys), Scott Page (bass), Sam Stark (drums) and Tal Vaisman (guitars) – exemplify this with their “New Skin” EP (available January 21 via Slaight Music/Sony Music Canada), a body of work that’s not unlike the best shoulder you’ve ever leaned on.
The EP’s title track and first single, “New Skin,” features a danceable brand of alternative arena rock with feverish pop hooks, along with motivational lyrical work that stresses the importance of not being afraid to forget about the negativity that haunts us and embracing a fresh start in life – definitely a fitting vibe for an EP’s opening number.
Last year’s debut single, “The Best is Yet to Come” (which entered the Top 25 at Canadian Rock Radio) offers a message of not giving up in times of struggle and finding a light at the end of the tunnel. Paced with goose bump-inducing instrumentation and soaring vocals, “The Best is Yet to Come,” already feels anthemic. Meanwhile, EP closer “Empires” includes an impassioned performance by Gianni Luminati of JUNO Award-winning band, Walk Off the Earth. Here, listeners are given one last chance to raise their fists and feel galvanized.
Featuring collaborations with Gavin Brown (Metric, Billy Talent, Three Days Grace) Eric Ratz (Monster Truck, Arkells, Billy Talent), Gianni Luminati (Walk of the Earth, Steve Aoki) and Neil Sanderson (Three Days Grace), to name a few, “New Skin” has positively displayed the versatility of Ascot Royals, a band that’s put in the work and continues to reach new lyrical and musical heights.