Dearly Beloved - Walker Park (Sonic Unyon): This hard-working Toronto rock band has deserved to gain more national attention, and hopefully a very recent signing to noted indie label Sonic Unyon will help facilitate that.
The group's first album for the label, Walker Park, comes out on Jan. 24 next year, and the title track and video have just been shared.
It is a convincing slab of aggressive modern rock featuring joint male/female vocals (Rob Higgins and Niva Chow), fiery guitar, a tough rhythm section and keyboards. An extended instrumental break in the middle of the track is unconventional but effective.
Dearly Beloved leader Robert Higgins (ex-Change of Heart) explains in a press release that “Walker Park is the soundtrack to an as-yet-unmade film of the same name. Some turning points you just come back from. Some turning points in our lives are so profound that the changes they inspire are of the fundamental variety."
Discussing the Sonic Unyon deal, Higgins notes that "Tim Potocic [owner of Sonic Unyon Records] is a music enthusiast and community-minded executive that I’ve known since day one. I made a record and toured the country with him in a van. I trust Tim and love what he has built in Hamilton. It was natural to connect with him about putting out Walker Park. I’ve wanted to work with him and Sonic Unyon for a long time.”
Potocic proclaims, "I have been a long-time fan and friend of the Beloveds and am very excited to be working beside a talented group of rock musicians looking to melt faces across the globe."
Walker Park took shape while Higgins was writing and recording at home alone to cope with the pandemic. "I felt fortunate to have my studio, and used the time to teach myself how to play the drums a little bit better," he says. "My goal was to reach 'shitty drummer' status, so these songs mostly started with simple beats and me overplaying on the bass — an element that at no point in the process got dialled back."
This is the seventh Dearly Beloved album in 15 years. The band will tour Ontario this year (including a Hamilton Supercrawl gig) and plans a full North American tour for 2023.
Management: Black & Blue, John Kastner
Booking: Atomic Music Group (North America)
PR: David Tysowski, Canvas Media (NA)
Jeff Kilgour, The Syndicate (NA / UK)