Going back to your roots can often lead to new beginnings. In early 2013, the members of Navy Skies — vocalist/guitarists Travis Caine and Bryan Wyshnicki, vocalist/keyboardist Kara Gauthier, drummer Paul Cope, and bassist Gary Hazelton — launched themselves onto the Toronto music scene after starting from scratch under a new band name and returning to their punk rock ethos. The year since has been spent on the road and in dark rooms, honing their sound of aggressive indie rock into The New War EP.
The band worked with producer Sydney Galbraith at Desert Fish Studios in Toronto to capture five hard-hitting songs that are equal parts catchy and sincere. New War is the culmination of a summer writing and rewriting new material, a deliberate and collaborative effort to shape the band sonically while maintaining the unbridled energy of their live show. There are loud guitars, booming drums, melodic keys, and raw vocals that contour the album at every turn.
“Navy Skies deliver a perfect storm of punk-inspired power pop” – Exclaim!
“If there is ever a punk rock band to check out then this is that band” – Hearty Vibes
It’s a framework that allows lyricist Travis Caine to display his battle scars under a veil of youthful optimism. “There are a lot of hopeful moments to the record, especially the arrangements,” Caine says. “But the narrative is pretty grim. It’s about coming up short, dealing with loss, and letting go.” With infectious riffs and attentive hooks, it’s a balancing act the band makes work by channeling artists like Hot Water Music, the Constantines, Get Up Kids, and the Weakerthans.
These influences have allowed Navy Skies to develop a familiar sound that’s all their own, and it’s a unique blend that has made them one of the best up and coming bands out of Toronto. At the core of it all is their desire for authenticity: five kids (aged to perfection) who grew up in the punk rock scene, playing sweaty shows in basements, and delving into the back catalog of the bands that came before them. Their songs transcend that upbringing, but the mission remains the same — they aren’t trying to revolutionize rock music, just attempting to give it a little bit of dignity.