Lon­don-based Canvas Wall launches new EP ‘Man­nekind’ on lo­cal soil

Malta Independent - - LIFESTYLE & CULTURE - Mathias Mal­lia

With their self-launched 2012 de­but al­bum ‘Think­ing out Loud’ Canvas Wall have since been sup­ported by the Arts Coun­cil Malta this year lead­ing to them record­ing a brand new EP, ‘Man­nekind’.

Canvas Wall is a Lon­don-based Mal­tese suc­cess story com­pris­ing of Si­mon Dou­nis on gui­tars and vo­cals, Craig Roger­son on drums, Dean Zam­mit on gui­tars and back­ing vo­cals and the re­cent ad­di­tion of Mat­teo Basile on bass. In re­plac­ing their bassist, the band re­tained their Mediter­ranean el­e­ment with the Ital­ian Basile.

The Malta In­de­pen­dent on Sun­day were given the op­por­tu­nity to lis­ten in on the EP pre-re­lease and after their launch on lo­cal sand at Funky Mon­key on Ma­noel Is­land, it is easy to see the en­ergy of their orig­i­nal mu­sic and spirit of the band pulling through both recorded and live.

Come And Get It

From the get go this song will have ev­ery lis­tener pleas­antly bob­bing their head and al­most danc­ing in their seat. Canvas Wall’s mu­sic, both from their de­but al­bum, and ev­i­dently by this track, is rem­i­nis­cent of Kings of Leon and Biffy Clyro; when the for­mer was good and the lat­ter was still heard of. This song is a very lis­tener friendly rock song which, although re­tain­ing the feel-good vibe that makes for main­stream ra­dio, doesn’t com­pro­mise in stac­cato power. In fact, although the song has just fin­ished, I still find my­self fever­ishly tap­ping my foot and bang­ing my head to my mem­ory of the solid rhythm heard through­out the song.

Chronic Agi­ta­tor

Pos­si­bly as dirty a gui­tar sound as ra­dio rock can be al­lowed bal­anced off nicely by and al­most Fall Out Boy-es­que verse and a calm, clean pre-cho­rus. There are so many el­e­ments and in­flu­ences in this mu­sic that it will have any keen lis­tener try­ing to pick out bands which this one re­minds them off. I’m hear­ing some Ra­dio­head and pos­si­bly even a more lo­cal sound too, which is un­der­stand­able con­sid­er­ing the mu­sic is still writ­ten by lo­cals, in spite of their lo­ca­tion change. The in­stru­men­tal part sounds like some­thing Quentin Tarantino would have in the back­ground to a bar scene un­til the drums kick in loud and proud un­til the last cho­rus. Well done to the band for Chronic Agi­ta­tor, con­sid­er­ing my per­sonal tastes, I have a feel­ing his will be my favourite off the EP.


I’m hear­ing some Paramore here, it’s just such a good col­lec­tion of sounds which you can play at a BBQ or in the car on a sunny Sun­day drive while try­ing to im­press your rel­a­tively new girl­friend with your knowl­edge of mu­sic she prob­a­bly hasn’t heard yet. But do it fast, with this sound, she might be one of the band’s grow­ing au­di­ence con­sid­er­ing I can’t un­der­stand why their mu­sic hasn’t taken over lo­cal air­waves yet. This song is a very am­bi­ent sound­ing song with clean gui­tars and back­ground re­verb with an al­most hyp­notic bridge. If this band has fig­ured some­thing out, it’s dy­nam­ics go­ing up and down to colour their sound.


I hope the song doesn’t evoke the emo­tions brought on by the mere men­tion of the week’s worst day. Although it started off with a tinge of panic, the happy high gui­tar notes lull you into a false sense of se­cu­rity be­fore the lyrics talk about not know­ing what’s go­ing on. Sounds like a reg­u­lar Mon­day to me. It’s ac­tu­ally a rather sweet song if you lis­ten closely talk­ing about not need­ing to do anything in par­tic­u­lar to en­joy your time with some­one. Rather than in­spir­ing the Mon­day drek, it has in­spired a pan­tomime “aaaawwww” in my head.


Per­haps an­tic­i­pa­tion for Tues­day? This song speaks to ev­ery awk­ward mo­ment of in­fat­u­a­tion ev­ery per­son with a pulse has one day had in their life. Of see­ing an at­trac­tive stranger who is seem­ingly into you but frus­trat­ingly, no­body ac­tu­ally comes out and says anything. This is what a mod­ern ‘love’ song should be like, not of roses and hy­per­bolic ex­pres­sions of never end­ing love in ad­verse weather in Novem­ber, but of ran­domly en­coun­ter­ing some­one who just rocks your world. This song shows that the band has a lit­tle more depth than some of the songs we are sub­ject to lis­ten­ing to over and over again on the air­waves. Apart from re­leas­ing mu­sic and be­ing ever present on so­cial me­dia and YouTube, Canvas Wall has been ex­ten­sively gig­ging all over. Apart from host­ing their own shows on the is­land, the have re­peated per­for­mances at the Far­sons Beer Fes­ti­val and Rock The South. When it comes to Lon­don, they have played at renowned venues such as the 100 Club, the O2 Academy Is­ling­ton and the Trou­ba­dour. The band has also gone as far as tour­ing in Fin­land. This EP in par­tic­u­lar was pro­duced by Matt Lawrence, who might sound fa­mil­iar to mu­sic en­thu­si­asts con­sid­er­ing his is a Grammy Award win­ner who pro­duced the likes of Mum­ford and Sons, Blur, Naughty Boy and The Vac­cines. The EP’s pro­duc­tion value does speak for it­self re­flect­ing the whole con­cept of colour in life, which is what the band in­sists the EP is all about. As the band puts it: “’Man­nekind’ (pro­nounced ‘mankind’) refers to ex­actly that, all of us! The spell­ing is a tip of the hat at ‘man­nequin’ which is where the whole con­cept of Man­nekind started. This EP is all about colour in life. It’s about how ev­ery­one starts out the same, but ex­pe­ri­ences change us, de­velop us...colour us dif­fer­ently!” Yes­ter­day’s launch marked the on­line re­lease of the al­bum be­fore the band is off to play a string of shows in the UK with fur­ther long-term plans of gig­ging through­out Europe in 2017. If you missed the launch, the band will def­i­nitely be back home to en­ter­tain in the fu­ture. Their web­site is www.can­vaswall.com where one can find mu­sic in­clud­ing their 2012 al­bum and the EP, mer­chan­dise and tour dates.

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