Royal Canoe's delightfully weird video for "Somersault" opens on a scene drained of color, with the members of the band bent in positions that seem almost physically impossible. In a split second that black and white background transforms into color, revealing a world of invisible forces in the form of puppeteers working behind the scenes to manipulate the musicians' movements. Each puppeteer moves tirelessly, holding up members of the band, bending over backwards, jumping and flipping.
In order to transform the song and the ideas behind it into a video, the Winnipeg-based band teamed up with director Nathan Boey and choreographer Kaja Irwin. In an email to NPR Music, frontman Matt Peters described the video as a metaphor for the different steps of the creative process: "When you're creating something, the end result is pretty much all anyone else sees or hears. But running invisibly underneath the finished product are all of the hours you spent in your bedroom struggling to find the right melody, or the planning that went into executing an idea correctly." Peters also remarked: "This behind-the-scenes work and even the abandoned ideas that never go anywhere have their own value, especially to the artist, and they often bring as much to the story as the polished result."
Sonically, Royal Canoe's "Somersault" is non-stop play between sharp synths and looped drums and bass. It's reminiscent of early-2000s totally weird but danceable indie pop. Listening to the hypnotic rhythm of Matt Peters' vocals, you can parse the same wackiness that made bands like Alt-J, Simian Mobile Disco or even fellow Canadians Think About Life so singular. Ultimately, it's feel-good dance music for the weird kids.
Royal Canoe's third album, Something Got Lost Between Here And The Orbit, comes out Sept. 16 on Nevado Music.