By Sarah Allen
CALGARY – Bethany Schumacher and Jared Salte make up the front lines of The Royal Foundry, a former folk duo and now electro-pop groover-makers with a new single “Don’t Know” released in mid-September paving a new path to follow.
“It’s still very much new ground for us. We just started the writing process for what we believe will be our next album, but the single really struck a chord for us. It helped us lean more toward an edgier, rebellious kind of a tone. It is definitely more alt-rock leaning,” Schumacher explains.
She acknowledges that the rebellious turn distinguishes itself from the nature of the Sherwood Park outfit’s previous LP, the sparkling synth-bathed Lost In Your Head (2017) which took three years to write. Not surprising since the duo made a colossal genre shift after touring in support of their breakthrough release Wherever We Go (2014).
“As much as we really cherished that first album, it really wasn’t who we were,” reveals Schumacher. Consequently, Lost In Your Head took so long for the pair to complete because they didn’t want to take the easy way out while looking to develop a new sound.
“[It was] our first big album and we wrote about a hundred songs just trying to sift through the good and bad ones, trying to figure out what our sound was … that was the most challenging part. Continuing to write and push ourselves in that way so we weren’t just writing 10 songs and using those 10 songs. It was a learning curve for us.”
Taking the long road in writing allowed them to experiment with and become more fluid in different roles within their process. “At the end of the day, it was really cool looking back and seeing how far we had come as a band, with Jared and I writing. Initially, I was more the lyricist and he was more the music producer. We shifted in our roles as time went on and writing went on, now we’re kind of mixing in both of those elements,” explains Schumacher.
Choosing songs that they wanted to represent them on the album is something that the pair struggled with the most, resulting in variety of stylistics. “The album in itself is kind of split down the middle. It’s kind of half pop-alt and half rock with electronic tendencies,” says Schumacher, who also confirms that this is the first time the duo has collaborated with another producer brought onboard specifically for the pop songs. While it was hard to have someone come in and remove elements of songs she and Salte had become attached to, it ultimately benefited them. “It’s like cleaning house. You’ve got to get rid of your shit sometimes.”
The Royal Foundry perform Oct. 11 at Bo’s Bar & Grill (Red Deer), Oct. 13 The Gateway (Calgary) and Oct. 14 at the Starlite Room (Edmonton)
Check out The Royal Foundry’s new single “Don’t Know” (the first new music from their next album release, which is due out in Spring 2019).