As the band reveal the LP to listeners, they also provided an exclusive track-by-track review of the 10 jams, offering further insight on the inspirations and aims behind the collective work.
Check out Calling All Captains’ track-by-track review below, along with a full stream of the new LP:
1. Laurel Canyon
This was actually the very first song we worked on for this LP. We were in New York on the Nothing Grows Here tour when the “Laurel Canyon” guitar riff was born. Oddly enough, lots of our songs start out as a guitar riff in a random guitar shop somewhere along our travels and get worked into song ideas later.
Being on the road for extended periods of time means that lots of stuff changes while you’re gone. Life moves on without you. This song came from dealing with the feelings of losing a close relationship while away from home and coming back to the aftermath. Adjusting to home life after being on the road for months is a struggle on its own, but when compounded by strained and broken relationships, it can be especially tough.
Addiction comes in many forms, and no matter who you are, you have probably experienced the negative side of addiction at some point in your life. Whether it be a personal struggle or someone close to you, it can be very mentally and physically exhausting. The chorus of this song illustrates the negative side of trying to help someone with their struggles. You can go into a burning building and do everything you can to get someone out, but if they’re not ready to accept help, it will only be yourself who is trying to make the situation better. They will let you stay in the fire until your lungs are completely torched.
“When it rains, it pours”—this is a saying we are all-too-familiar with. Sometimes life gets busy, and then it gets stressful; then, some seemingly random event can send you into a downward spiral. This song is about the times when you realize you are spinning out of control, and you need to reach out to someone for help because you know you can’t get back on your own.
These types of feelings seem to come with the seasons, especially living in Canada. It can be tough to keep a positive attitude through the hard times when the sun doesn’t shine, and the temperature drops below -30 degrees Celsius. “Some highway signs lead to a better life, inside my mind.” This lyric is me dreaming about leaving this place for somewhere the sun always shines, but deep down, I know it is not what is outside your mind, but what is inside.
4. Loving Cup
This song is looking back at a dark time in my life. However, I did not think of it like that when I was living it. If I had to go back, I’m not sure if I would change anything, but today, I am glad to be happy and healthy and doing what I love. When you are young, you don’t realize the lasting effects of every decision you make, especially when you’re caught up in the fun of it all.
“People die every day; why’s it different when it’s someone you know?” This is a compelling line to me and something that often crosses my mind. Say you learn that someone you never met but who you went to school with has passed away. It hits different. It makes you realize your own mortality. As I get older, I have become more aware of this and changed how I process these emotions. Overall, this song is very personal for me, and I hope you can connect with it in some way.
“Loyalty” is one of the heaviest songs Captains has written. It’s also one of our favorites because we explored a little deeper into a new, aggressive territory. Our vocalist Luc has a very dynamic range between singing and screaming; we wanted to start utilizing his different vocal techniques throughout this LP. They say a magician never reveals his secrets, but it’s Blueberry Faygo. That’s the secret.
“Undone” is about that person in your life who is always controlling and manipulating things for their own, twisted angle. Someone who you can’t have a real conversation with because there is always an ulterior motive. Sometimes, you are stuck with this person, so you learn to take a knee and let them wear themselves out.
7. Broken Glass
There have been specific periods in our lives where some of us have experimented with certain substances, something that we do not hide but, simultaneously, a subject we have been educated on and seen the fatal effects of what drugs can do to you or your loved ones. Many artists today glorify substance abuse, and it’s having a negative impact on the youth that are blindly following this culture. While we write lots about substance abuse, it’s from the standpoint of wanting to be better. There is more to life than chasing ghosts.
“Wasted” is for the ones who are stuck in their vices. It’s tiring being a slave to addiction or substance abuse. Sometimes you play along and act the part, so you don’t lose those closest to you. Do these people have your best interest at heart? Do you only hang out and drink? Will they be there for you at 3:00 am on a Tuesday when you need it? This song reflects on the type of lives that we fall into as a young adult. Your 20s are not supposed to be a giant party. It is a difficult time transitioning between adolescence and adulthood. I wish I could tell my younger self to put down the substances and focus more on life’s essential aspects.
9. Vacant Sentiment
This track was co-written with our longtime friend Ty Elgie (co-writer on “Chasing Ghosts”), and is about the feelings of anger and hurt that you experience after you fall into an unintentional or unrequited romance with someone, and it inevitably ends. Sometimes one person just doesn’t catch feelings, and you find out too late that they weren’t on the same page as you and became careless with your heart and screwed everything up. Eventually you’re done listening to their rationalizing and empty emotions and just need to make a clean break so you can heal and move on. The upbeat, major-key vibe of the song reflects the little temporary feeling of empowerment you get when finally telling that person to kick rocks.
10. Friends & Family
This was originally a song intended to be a completely different style, but after the band got together, we realized the potential it had to be a laid-back tune with a slow build. The lyrical content stems from the constant pressure of being told to “find yourself,” and when you finally get there, people want the old you back. Inside, we make changes within ourselves that can force people out of our lives. They will try and bring you back down to their level instead of building you up or trying to reach the same success.
This song is for the ones around you who won’t see the REAL you, the ones who never seem to be happy with who you are. Changing yourself can be the hardest thing to do, and it doesn’t happen fast. It must be consistent. Slowly getting better is still getting better. Ultimately, you must do this for yourself, despite what friends or family might say. We are all capable of this; you just need to put in the effort.
Listen to Slowly Getting Better in full here:
Photo courtesy of Alan Bremner