Meeting through mutual friends and playing gigs while studying at Berklee College of Music, Mandy Kessler (vocals), Kris Wong (guitar, bass and synths) and Zack Brody (drums) came together to form The Canvas Collective. Based in the US, the trio brings together elements of contemporary pop, pop-rock and pop-punk forming something innovative and unique. Featured on blogs like KMS Reviews, Wolf In A Suit and Rising Artists Blog, The Canvas Collective are gaining a reputation for engaging music – in fact, Lynn Gunn from PVRIS says she likes their music! It’s pretty cool feedback if PVRIS is one of your influences, but we’re not here to talk about that, we’re here to talk about their single ‘Say Something’.
Following their single ‘Break My Heart’, ‘Say Something’ has a hard-hitting vibe with pounding drums, dynamic guitars and underlying synths. It’s true, there might be a contemporary pop style to ‘Say Something’, but the upbeat tune progresses to a more pop-punk/pop-rock approach as the song goes along. One of my favourite aspects is the softer, laidback verses that crescendo into a high-paced rock chorus with powerful guitar riffs and catchy verses. I am particularly fond of the short section where Mandy Kessler really hits those high notes.
I am inclined to compare The Canvas Collective to Paramore in its speed, intensity and overall awesomeness; however, it won’t do either band justice. Mandy’s vocals, for me, lie somewhere between Amy Lee and Hayley Williams but with a naive innocence in its tone. It’s amazing to see such sophistication and maturity from a young band, particularly regarding Mandy’s vocal control. Moreover, the melody is so infectious and attention-grabbing that you can’t help but dance about and sing along. Yet, it is not only the instrumentation and production that showcase innovativeness but the lyricism as well.
Touching on issues of aggression, frustration and angst, ‘Say Something’ is a reckless (but amazing) exposition of what we should say when people piss us off. The Canvas Collective share that “…this song is about feeling held back by another person or group of people who don’t feel responsible for their actions. We had a terrible year as a band when we recorded our first EP and it led to some ill feelings. This song is a letter to those people and what we would say to them today.” Taking this into account, it seems that this is a cathartic song when dealing with upsetting emotions – something I think we all need and can relate to in modern society.