When Kevin Comeau and Cody Bowles first met through a mutual friend around seven years ago, they immediately connected over their love of Rush and prog-rock, Star Wars and Star Trek.

That chemistry is palpable in their musical duo, Crown Lands. Comeau (guitars, bass, keyboards) and Bowles (drums, vocals) feed off each other’s energy and swagger, seamlessly blending classic psych, prog, folk, and blues.

“We wanted that chemistry to come across in our music. There was some magic the first day we met, and it’s still there,” says Comeau.

They perfected their sound over years of relentless touring, playing alongside rock heavyweights like Jack White, Primus, and Rival Sons. When it came time to record their self-titled debut, it was important that the songs had the same energy as their live show. Recording at RCA Studio A in Nashville with six-time Grammy winner Dave Cobb, the album was captured live off the floor, to allow for moments of spontaneity.

On the debut, released in August 2020, the duo tackles heavy topics – including systemic racism in Canada. “The song ‘End of the Road’ is about the missing and murdered Indigenous women, children, and two-spirit people on the Highway of Tears in British Columbia,” says Bowles, whose ancestry is half Mi’kmaw. “The music is very emotive. The guitar [sound] like it’s crying, and the beat underneath is like a relentless trudge.”

The band had planned to spend 2020 playing shows, but of course, that’s on hold. Instead, they’re working on next record in their studio in the woods, located north of their hometown of Oshawa, Ontario. They’re finding ways to weave polyrhythms and weird tunings into their hook-driven rock and roll, and lyrically exploring our current moment.

“We’re writing songs that take into account what’s happening around the world,” says Comeau. “We’re trying to reflect this situation into our music and, hopefully, bring hope to people who are probably going through the most challenging moments of their lives.”

Feeling Good, Working Out
As this story was being edited, Crown Lands got a big career boost from Peleton.  The company’s new TV/digital/online ad campaign for the U.K. and Germany features two new versions of Nina Simone’s classic song “Feeling Good,” one by Crown Lands ,and a hip-hop rendition by L.A. rapper, Duckwrth, plus the original. In a press release, Crown Lands said, “when Peloton asked us to work on an iconic Nina Simone song, we knew we had to honour her and do our spin on it. Nina is such a powerful and incredible woman, and the world needs her message now more than ever.” Alongside the ad, Crown Lands released their cover version in full, and Peloton will integrate it into future classes.