It might sound like a contradiction, but Arkells frontman Max Kerman says his two favourite types of songs are about love and about politics.
Both themes are part of the band's new 11-track album High Noon, which came out Tuesday.
The common thread, he says, is that the lyrics carry a sense of hopefulness not seen on previous albums.
"I always admire the people who are always looking forward, the light at the end of the tunnel," says Kerman. "I think these songs have that."
Songs like Fake Money and Systematic touch on social politics and injustice while Crawling Through The Window looks at a complicated friendship.
"I think girls might think about a dude-girl relationship but it's really about two friends that are really leaning on each other when they were sort of lost," says Kerman.
The album was recorded in Los Angeles and Toronto, but was written in the band's hometown of Hamilton, Ont.
Guitarist and vocalist Mike DeAngelis says Hamilton's working-class backbone is an ongoing source of inspiration.
'One of the most gratifying things about making music is sharing it with people' - Max Kerman, Arkells frontman
"I think the city and the people in the city have a certain spirit about them," says DeAngelis. "People say underdog but I think more and more we're just seeing how we can take from their experience and from living there."
The band still lives in Hamilton, but is known for spending a lot of time on the road performing.
Arkells will be in Berlin, Amsterdam and London this month followed by Niagara-On-The-Lake and Fredericton in September.
"Probably one of the most gratifying things about making music is sharing it with people," says Kerman.
"If we can play somewhere that's far away from our home and people show up and they're singing along with the words, it's a pretty incredible feeling and that's really unique to music. It's something I don't take for granted."
More information on the band and their tour dates can be found on their website.