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First Play: The Royal Oui, This is Someday

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Andrea Warner

As we wrote in the CBC Music spring release preview, Adrienne Pierce and Ari Shine were musicians with lengthy solo careers long before they tied the knot, but the Canadian-American duo finally joined forces for their own band in 2014, releasing a self-titled folk-pop debut, The Royal Oui. Three years later, the pair has made an all-out dance party of a followup with This is Someday, a collection of heartfelt, hopeful pop anthems that will surely find their way onto every great TV and film soundtrack for the next five years.

The album is a trim eight tracks — six songs and two brief instrumental breaks — clocking in at just 22 minutes long, but there’s nothing slight about this collection: these pop tunes are dense and dynamic, layers of heart and hooks. The slinky, electro-pop opener, “All About You,” is a slyly funny and entirely relatable ode to the narcissists we love, and our own tendency towards self-obsession. “You say you need someone to listen/ but man you wear me out,” Pierce and Shine sing, their voices not so much blending here as pushing against each other, parallel lines threatening to almost intersect but unable to make that sacrifice, a physical and artistic manifestation of the song’s themes.

“Sideways,” the song that follows, shimmers and glows, conveying a gentle kind of regret that does its best to protect everybody involved when love comes undone. “I stop, I start, I break my own heart/ you stop, you start, you break your own heart,” Pierce sings, taking the lead overtop Shine’s backing vocals. It’s a marked contrast to the bouncy momentum of “No Prize Inside,” which swoops and soars like a flock of birds at sunset making their way home, an appropriate visual as the Royal Oui resurrects its indie-folk roots in the final two songs, including the standout “Wedding Dress.” Its stomping beat and jangly guitar match the gritty sweetness of the song’s lyrics as the pair beseech, “I’m coming back for you/ say it’s not too late/ I’m coming back for you/ tell me that you’ll wait.”

You can listen to This Is Someday a week before its May 19 release via the CBC Music player. The album is available for pre-order here.