TRACK: Neighbourhood Watch – ‘Focus Up’: Toronto quintet telling indie-rock tales of growing up

Neighbourhood Watch

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH are a young five-piece outta Toronto with a really simple mission: they love making music about growing up. Clear, concise and ready in your ‘hood with melody and storytelling.

Singer-guitarist Tristan Surman – who’s joined in the Neigbourhood Watch, keeping an eye on your endz, by pianist Tyler Moretti, bassist Thom Elgie, lead guitarist Ethan Surman and drummer/guitarist Wyeth Robertson – has this to say about their new single drop, “Focus Up” which you can hear below: “We learned that age can make someone ruthless. It can be difficult to keep friendships intact as we grow. With more responsibility comes the need to make more selfish decisions.

“‘Focus Up’ was written after my best friend made a choice that broke my heart; I don’t blame him, though. He had to do what was right for him. 

“My favourite lyric is the second line: ‘Listening to John and you.’ I’m talking about listening to John Coltrane and my friend’s SoundCloud in one whiskey-fuelled session. It reminds me of him, and Montreal. 

“The song is great for walking or biking through Montreal on a grey day. It’ll help you get where you’re going.”

It’s melodic indie-rock with a heartfelt, throaty vocal courtesy Tristan, crisp drumming, hushed, almost spoken word passages, kicking up leaves with an autumnal feel in the chorus.

With a new album on the way, Tristan continues: “So much of how we create power in our music is with a big vocal performance in the chorus. We went down a different track this time. We threw a bunch of vocal layers under my voice, and brought the energy up with some horns. It was a fun foray into raising the stakes in terms of our production, not just songwriting. 

“‘Focus Up” was the natural first single for our upcoming album. It’s easy to play and we have fun with it. We started every band practice with it because this song gave us confidence and got us into the music.

“Hopefully it’ll do the same for you.”

You can hear “Focus Up” now via your preferred streaming platform.

To keep an eye out for these guys and news of the forthcoming album, follow Neighbourhood Watch on FacebookInstagram, Apple Music and Spotify. Tristan promises of this forthcoming ten-tracker, independently released, that it’ll be ” … a lot more ambitious than the first two records. Not uplifting and fun, but epic in a way. Lots of strings, horns, big vocals.” Sounds like we need to hear this.

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