April 15, 2010
Contributor Amy Spiegel profiles the Canon Logic, a Brooklyn band that's been winning over fans in droves.
The Canon Logic, a Brooklyn-based band who seem to be cropping up everywhere lately, is not one of those pretentious groups that’s going to give you a long-winded, confusing explanation of what their sound is. Where so many musicians working today are eager to say something like, “uh, we kind of play, um, chillwave/low-fi/ambient, uh, noise pop-based garage,” when asked about what genre they fall under, the boys from The Canon Logic don’t care about that boring, Darwinian kind of musical classification system. They just want to make you dance.
“Being in New York, I definitely appreciate enthusiastic crowds, because they’re kind of hard to come by,” says band member Sean Enright. With this perceived challenge in mind, The Canon Logic has an egalitarian mindset when it comes to writing songs. A good track, to them, is one that many different breeds of music lovers will respond to. In other words, catchiness is key. They achieve this through guitar hooks and pretty piano melodies that have traditional rock- and pop-based sensibilities, but still manage to create a sound that’s uniquely theirs. “All of us had the common bond of good songwriting,” says member Tim Kiely, who sings and switches off on playing piano, guitar, and bass. “We’re all attracted to songs that are well-written.” That sums up the way the band creates music together. Mark Alu agrees, saying that their way of improving songs is “making them better for outside listeners.” Instead of trying to push themselves to pigeonhole their songwriting into one corner of the musical world, they choose instead to go off of one simplistic criterion: Does this sound good?
When it comes to The Canon Logic, it usually does. Their recently released debut album, Avenue of Criminals, is rife with slick musical structures and beautiful, clear vocals. Standout tracks “Dead Man” and “Fabulous” deliver with clever, well-paced lyrics set to head-nodding melodies. The best song on the album, though, is “Nights at Armour Mansion.” Its instantly engrossing romanticism and new-wave rhythms find The Canon Logic at their most skillful.
Although the band is still very much involved in the release of this first album, they continue to write and produce new content all the time. Kiely mentions how collaborative the songwriting effort is. Although each member typically writes individually before bringing a new tune to the group, they all are very involved in tweaking the pieces to perfection. Josh Greenfield, one of the band’s guitarists, jokes that The Canon Logic is prone to creating monsters: “It’s like Frankenstein, trying to put all the pieces together.” Kiely nods and laughs as he says, “It’s alive!”
The band is clearly joking, but “alive” might not be such a bad way to describe their musical output. They’re perpetually on the move – they practice constantly, are always playing one show or another, and are always looking for more ways to expand their range of listeners. Success, to them, means constantly progressing in terms of creativity and being able to play new gigs as frequently as possible. “We all want to do this for as long as we can,” says Kiely of the band’s personal aspirations. With any luck, The Canon Logic’s listeners will be able to reap the benefits for a good, long time to come.