Arkells' new album High Noon gets personal and political

Arkells say they were inspired by classic bands like The Clash to sing about politics and love on their latest album High Noon.

The band takes on social politics and affairs of the heart in their third studio release

Arkells talk inspiration with CBC Arts reporter Zulekha Nathoo 1:55

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.

Arkells, from left to right: Nick Dika (bass), Anthony Carone (keyboard), Max Kerman (lead vocals/guitar), Mike DeAngelis (vocals/guitar) and Tim Oxford (drums). (Brooks Reynolds/CP)
"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.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.