Birds of Bellwoods
Photo: Kate Dockery

Toronto alt-rock band Birds of Bellwoods are set to drop their new album, Everything You Want, the highly anticipated sophomore follow-up to their 2018 debut. They’ve just released “One By One”, the first single from the upcoming album, so we caught up with the band to chat about the new music, their pre-show rituals, and their individual superpowers.

From the Strait: Tell us about the new single, “One By One”.

Birds of Bellwoods: One by One is very much a call to action – an acknowledgement that the current system is not working. Take the housing market for example. In the time it has taken for minimum wage to go up less than five dollars, houses in Toronto have gotten up to eight times more expensive.

People can barely afford the gas it costs to drive to the job they hate to make enough money to buy gas to get to their job tomorrow.

And yet we’re supposed to stay committed? Screw that. Let it burn. We’ll make something better from the ashes.

FTS: What can fans expect from your upcoming sophomore album, Everything You Want?

Birds of Bellwoods:  Converse to our previous answer, or perhaps as an extension of it, you can expect hope. The album moves through self doubt, through fear and anger, relentlessly toward light.

It also sounds HUGE. We are unabashedly taking our shot at big smash Alt Rock, while maintaining elements of the indie/folk band we once were. It was produced by two-time Grammy winner Dave Schiffman, and he really helped us evolve from who we were into who we wanted to be.

FTS: Birds of Bellwoods are known to put on a damn good live show. What is your pre-show ritual?

Birds of Bellwoods:  This has adapted over the years, and a lot of it is secret. But have you seen Captain Planet? Where they all put their power rings into the circle and say what element they represent? We do that but every night each person represents something different (usually an inside punchline from something that happened that day) and we come together to form some new and even more inspiring joke.

Plus the blood letting thing.

FTS: Which Canadian bands or artists are you listening to most right now?

Stevie: Haviah Mighty, The OBGMs, Elio.
Chris: Alvvays, Pup, Arcade Fire.
Kintaro: Mustafa, Ariel Posen, Saya Gray.
Adrian: River Tiber, Alex Porat.
Dylan: Protest The Hero, Unleash The Archers, Devon Townsend.

FTS: If each band member were a superhero, what would their superpower be? And their superhero name?

Stevie:The Visible Man: Hyper visibility. Like the opposite of invisibility. Like I walk into a room and you can’t help but just look at me and be like ‘wow who is that guy’.
Chris: The French Tuckler: None can resist his effortlessly asymmetrical shirt tucking skills.
Kintaro: The Good Bank of Canada: I would be able to lower inflation with a snap of my fingers.
Adrian: The Amazing Slow Downer: I can slow everything down so we can figure our shit out and maybe survive the impending doompocalypse.
Dylan: Blast Feet: Super speed. Enough said.

Check out “One By One”, the new single from Birds of Bellwoods!