Calgary band Raleigh show off their trippy, more ambitious side on new song Costume Party

Have a listen to the first single from their new album Powerhouse Bloom, which is set for a late September release.

This ain’t your parents Raleigh.

Well, yeah, it probably is.

It’s not like the local band has been around that long — about seven years or so. You’re not seven are you? No, probably not.

But we’re certainly being given a glimpse of a different side of the Calgary band, which features Brock Geiger, Clea Anaïs, Matt Doherty and Will Maclellan.

First dropped a gorgeous, wonderfully weird cover of Frank Ocean’s Ivy a month ago, and now they’re sharing the first single from their forthcoming album Powerhouse Bloom, which is set for a Sept. 29 release.

The song, Costume Party, is a slightly menacing, still so, so beautiful, cold wave psych track that is seemingly a million miles away from their more organic chamber-pop roots they showed off on their 2014 album Sun Grenades and Grenadine Skies and even further from their 2011 debut New Times In Black and White.

“It’s definitely a bigger taste of what the album is about,” Geiger says of the new direction Costume Party signals.

“This single definitely bridges the gap between Raleigh of two years ago and what we did with that weird cover song. We’ve got a bass player (Maclellan) playing with us now and we’ve gotten way too obsessed with synthesizers and drum machines, and a lot of that has crept into these new arrangements. They’re way more realized and trippy and electric and energized.

“So I think this is a good taste.”

Fittingly it’s now available as a cassette single with Ivy on the B-side before the dropping of the new record.

It’s one that Geiger explains started with some bedroom recordings, which were then taken to their indie band residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, where they worked with such notables as Brendan Canning, Kevin Drew and Charles Spearin of Broken Social Scene as well as several engineers, including homegrown Grammy-winner Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes). They then headed to the Tragically Hip’s Bathouse Studio out east to finish most of it off.

Costume Party, “a tongue in cheek … stab at the primadonna rock star character that can be more of an out of touch fashion than artistic form,” also features additional production from Scott “Monty” Munro of fellow locals Preoccupations.

“It’s got a huge cast of people that showed up on all the tracks and the production,” says Geiger, explaining that Raleigh have greater ambitions for Powerhouse Bloom.

“And we’ve got a bit of a team behind it, which is finally nice. I think we’re really aiming to give it a proper push.”

Watch the video for Costume Party below:


Mike Bell has been covering the Calgary music scene for the past 25 years with publications such as VOX, Fast Forward, the Calgary Sun and, most recently, the Calgary Herald. He is currently the music writer and content editor for Follow him on Twitter/@mrbell_23 or email him at