Premiere: Calgary art-pop band 36? release weird and wonderful video for new single Samuel

There are few local bands that make us giddier than 36?

Especially when they have new music on the way

The brainchild of sweet, sweet idiot savant Taylor Cochrane, when the collective drops something new you pay attention, because their sonic journey is unlike so many others — challenging, exciting, disarming, wonderful and so extraordinarily unique.

That’s why we’re more than chuffed to debut the video for the new single from the exquisite cowtown crew, Samuel.

The song, the first release on Montana’s North Pole Records, is the lead single from 36?’s new record Naturally due later this year and which was recorded “self-recorded in isolation by various members of 36? throughout the pandemic.”

It’s a vast, beautifully constructed, wide-eyed and wonderful post-rock, psych ballad with a whole lot of bite back. Naive but with an edge, pretty but with punch.

“Samuel is an exploration of child-like imagination and discovery;

remembering what it’s like to be a kid and learning about the

world and celebrating the journey,” says frontman Cochrane about the tune. “The song is written from the perspective of a parent guiding their child through an unfamiliar world, celebrating the ambiguity of what it means to be alive, and teaching of the impermanence of all things.”

And the video?

Good lord.

It’s a creepy little fucker, that manages to capture the tone and overall aesthetic of 36? in it’s weird and wiggly epic two-and-a-half minutes.

“My favourite type of art is art that inspires a complex variety of emotions. I grew up watching the David Firth cartoons (Salad Fingers and Spoilsbury Toast Boy etc.) and the way those videos had this underlying eeriness in what was an otherwise absurdist silliness was unlike anything I had ever seen,” Cochrane says.

“I think it was when I first developed an appreciation for art that’s partial purpose was to be an uncomfortable ordeal to digest. In 36?’s music I like to always try to include an element of something that is unfamiliar. I like when you collage things that may not classically belong together well and end up with something that expresses a feeling you don’t quite understand and that’s what I think I have created with the video. It’s both silly and scary. 

“I feel like I am a little desensitized to it now, so in a few weeks I’ll rewatch it and I think I’ll at least partially be able to grasp the weirdness of it, but for now I just live in the universe where that is the norm so it’s a bit hard for me to entirely comprehend it right now. I am excited to see how watching it affects different people in different ways.” 

Watch the video below, and look out for Naturally later this year.