In an age where minimalism reigns supreme, Royal Oak brings its brand of wall-of-sound maximalism into the pop realm. Formed in 2014 in the suburbs of Vancouver, a growing catalog of singles, albums, and Canadian tours has propelled the group a long way from these humble beginnings. Friends since early childhood, the four learned their instruments together, paving the way for their sonic trademarks of interlocked backbeats, hook-laden choruses, and clever throwback references.
For Royal Oak, like for many, 2020 was a period of hibernation and reflection. But now, the band is ready to reveal its most ambitious project to date: a self-produced 11-track album shaped almost exclusively over Zoom. On the new record, the quartet draws from influences as diverse as pop-punk, R&B, and EDM, fusing together an eclectic sound that rests firmly in sleek alt-pop territory.
The second single from the album is “Yearbook,” an edgy pop tune about nostalgia and a yearning for simpler times. Masterfully mixed by 2x Juno-nominee Brandon Unis (Karl Wolf), the sonic landscape shifts between sparse, driving verses and pop-punk-inspired choruses, culminating in a soulful saxophone crescendo. With a distant feeling that reflects its remote writing sessions, “Yearbook” speaks to anyone who’s reminisced about the ghosts they once knew.