I spend a lot of time hyping up Australia’s music scene but in recent times I’ve really noticed that Canada is becoming an absolute goldmine of talent. From old-timers Alexisonfire to Counterparts and up and comers Like Pacific and Bearings, there’s always been a steady flow of musical mastery out of the country. It’s Castlefield however, that have caught my eye, with the Canadian quartet having just released their new four-track EP Tunnel Vision.
After stumbling across the four-piece following the release of the 2017 three-track The Mascot EP, there was something undeniably warm and welcoming about the band that lured me in. As tear-jerking as it was crowdsurf inducing, the music’s rawness was inescapable. Castlefield are Ryan Fitz (guitar/vocals), Conner Neilson (guitar), Matt Spafford (bass) and Jon Reid (drums).
Throughout the entire EP, the undeniable growth of the band in less than two years is glaringly obvious. The opening track and lead single “Best Laid Plans” lays a perfect platform: It is emotively painful with Fitz’s strained vocals echoing a devastatingly sad sentiment. Described by the frontman as a song that took years to complete, it captures an important part of his own life: “It is normal to feel out of place sometimes and realise that things won’t go the way you thought they might.”
There is a very likeable uniqueness to Castlefield. While the band seem to take influence from new wave pop punk, and especially their aforementioned countrymen, there is something that lies within their songs that generates an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia within me. The rare blend of old school punk and punchy modern pop punk that the band indulge their listeners with is fantastic and I can’t get enough.
Lyrically, ‘Tunnel Vision’ is a “collection of songs written about the whirlwind of emotions one goes through in early adulthood” as described by bassist Spafford. Covering subjects including (but not limited to) heartbreak and substance abuse, it is sure to pull at the heart strings of all that listen.
There truly isn’t an average track on the release. From second single “Joyless”, which perfectly encapsulates the feeling of going through an overwhelming breakdown, to the heart wrenching “Escape”, the band have no trouble channelling feelings of frustration and self-deprecation through their music. Existing within a genre where emotion can sometimes feel forced, there’s nothing fake about these Canadian heartbreakers.
Normally this is the part of a review where I sum everything up nicely but there’s just one thing that I can stress: Go listen to Castlefield. Hype them up and tell your friends because I swear if I never get the chance to watch them, I will throw down with someone. Tunnel Vision is a beautiful little EP and the biggest downside to it is that I just wish there was more than four tracks.
Tunnel Vision is out now via Penultimate Records. Find it here: https://www.fanlink.to/castlefield
Just write more songs please, I need more.
Emotive, nostalgia inducing and heart wrenching pop-punk. There’s a unique flavour to Castlefield and they NEED to make it down to Australia real damn soon.