The Tragically Hip - Ouch (UMC): The Hip gave their legion of loyal fans a much-needed treat on May 21 with the surprise release of Saskadelphia, an album comprising six previously unreleased tracks written in 1990, around the time of the Road Apples album. What wasn't a surprise was its debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Canadian Album chart.
Ouch is the lead single from the album, and it immediately reveals itself as a classic Hip cut. Signature propulsive guitars and a rock-solid rhythm section frame the distinctive vocals of Gord Downie, here in full snarl. It hurts so good.
A just-released video for the track is fuelling further interest. Aside from the band, some heavy-duty talent is featured in the clip. A Revolver Films production, the video was produced by Craig Fleming, directed by Sara Basso, and stars actor and director Jay Baruchel (Goon: Last of the Enforcers), Rebecca-Jo Dunham-Baruchel and comedian and TV personality Rick Mercer.
Set in the fictional town of Saskadelphia, the video was reportedly inspired by Twin Peaks and From Dusk Till Dawn. “I wanted the video to be something that long-time fans of The Tragically Hip would appreciate but also create intrigue for a younger audience to connect with the historic moment when a small town Canadian band flipped everything on its head and got the whole world listening,” Basso notes in a label press release. “The track has a rebellious and audacious tone, which I felt required an off-beat narrative; a tongue-in-cheek thriller, contemporary, with nods to 30 years ago.”
Super-fan Jay Baruchel notes that "getting to be in a video for one of their songs, with my wife (Dunham-Baruchel) and Rick Mercer to boot, is nothing short of a once in a lifetime moment.” Mercer also signed on instantly, explaining that “In show business, there are calls you think are impossible to receive and calls you do not say no to. Getting called to be in a new video for The Tragically Hip qualifies on both fronts. As a long-time fan, I love the new material and I was honoured to make an appearance.”
Of course, we don't really need to be reminded of the impact of The Tragically Hip on Canadian music and culture. The band sold over 10 million albums in Canada and over 1.5 million in the US, and their trophy case is decorated with 15 Juno Awards, but their importance and influence goes way beyond sales figures and trophies,
Publicity: Valerie Burnatowski, Universal Music Canada
Management: Jake Gold