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CANVAS Rethinks How We Deal with Demons in New Single ‘Just Like Me’

By Charlie Maybee

This reading of Alchemical Records content is to provide a multimedia experience for our audience while increasing the accessibility of our content to persons with hearing loss, low vision, dyslexia, physical or motor disabilities, or are on the autism spectrum.

New York-based alternative rock band, CANVAS, have returned with a dark, new single “Just Like Me,” which embraces a guitar-led, folk style composition without losing the band’s signature rock n’ roll edge.

Jerid Nowell, the band’s lead singer and guitarist, immediately calls upon the unsettling imagery of execution by firing squad as he sings, “I gathered my demons and lined them on the wall.” Through this personification, there’s a forced sympathetic response toward creatures that would typically be written off simply as being evil.

As the drums kick in, the tune takes on the quality of a slow, marching dirge. It’s clear that the fate of these demons has already been decided, and we are simply along for the ride as it is dutifully and painfully carried out. Nowell continues singing, “some of them had families and regrets of their own / and prayed to their devil as I tried to raise the gun.”

This is a thoughtful track that distorts old tropes of dealing with personal demons through speculative storytelling. In that way, the bluesy, folk style of music fits perfectly and allows for a soft, somber tone that still has a strong drive.

It has a similar build and introspection to the classic song “Turn The Page” by Bob Seger, but “Just Like Me” delivers a much more raucous ending that highlights the natural struggle and conflict at the heart of this story – destroying the demons we’ve created (or inherited) that have been molded in our own image.

In talking about the creation of the song, Nowell notes, “Killing one’s demons is something people struggle with their whole lives. It can sometimes feel as though we’re trying to kill another human being because of how difficult it can be. So, what if that was actually what was required? We tried to personify this struggle by humanizing the idea of a demon that is exactly like us. When push comes to shove, we have to decide whether or not to eliminate it or let it be a part of us, suffering the consequences as a result.”

“Just Like Me” is available on all major streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Deezer, TIDAL, Amazon Music, SoundCloud, and Pandora.

Follow our Alchemical Weekly Spotify Playlist for this and more great music featured on the site.  

Charlie Maybee

Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Charleston, South Carolina who currently teaches with the Dance Program at the College of Charleston. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression and research. He also currently plays rhythm guitar for the Charleston-based punk band, Anergy, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.

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