Your 20s are some of the hardest times of your life. You are in the thick of it, trying to figure out who you are and where you want to be, but for so many of us, mental health and drug use issues are at the top of the thought list. Navigating life during this stress is tough enough, but throw a global pandemic that forces isolation and quarantines into the mix, and all rationale heads out the door. Luckily, Alberta’s own Calling All Captains kept on track, fought forward despite everything, and produced something truly special. 

 [We had] such a dream team behind us for this record,” explains guitarist and vocalist Connor Dawkins. This whole COVID thing set us back and made it a real challenge. We were able to stack our deck in the meantime. I think we’re coming out of the gate stronger than we’ve ever been.”  

The band’s debut album, Slowly Getting Better, is their highly anticipated follow-up to the Nothing Grows Here EP, out via Rude Records/Equal Vision RecordsIt showcases how far Calling All Captains have come in their career. Big moves were originally set in motion for the band to work with Capitol House in the U.S., but COVID disrupted those plans, forcing the border to close two weeks before they were supposed to go over and record for a month. Instead, the band worked with Quinn Cyrankiewicz at The Audio Department and churned out over 25 songs, borrowing some from previous sessions. 

We really had to come together and decide what was going to be on the record, and how to fit together all of the different parts of each of these songs but still give them their own identity,” shares vocalist Luc Gauthier. I think that was one of the biggest reasons why we chose the songs we did. All of them, when you listen to them front-to-back of the record, each song has their own sound. You know they have their own identity.” 

Cyrankiewicz worked with the band on their EP back in 2019, so it was a very comfortable experience, garnering a little luck from the original plan, now defunct. Putting together a full-length instead of an EP took a different approach. When they were throwing together Nothing Grows Here, the band members all had jobs and had to coordinate going into the studio a few days a week for three to four hours at a time. For their debut album, they booked a month and a half in the studio and took time off from their jobs to be able to sit down and work on the album without any distractions. 

Quinn has actually been quite fundamental to the process of how Calling All Captains has grown, particularly with Nothing Grows Here,” says Dawkins. It was natural to go with Quinn. We were all worried about leaving our comfort zone and going out and doing this new recording experience. Then, unfortunately, we weren’t able to. But it was kind of a blessing in disguise, I think, because we were able to really grind with Quinn on these songs. I think we produced the best possible album we could have under the circumstances.” 

The album’s release date, October 29, should be marked on any and every calendar available.  

I just wanted to write some songs, and it turned out to be what we’re going through at the time,” says Gauthier. I never write with the intention of creating something but putting it all together; it’s just these collections of songs are really special.” 

Watch the music video for “Wasted” here:

For more from Calling All Captains, find them on Instagram and their official website.

Photo courtesy of Calling All Captains and Kristin Breitkreutz

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