One of my favorite alternative folk artists of 2016, The Royal Foundry, is rapidly gaining popularity. The band started as a folk duo through the marriage of Bethany Schumacher (vocals/guitar/keys) and Jared Salte (vocals/keys/guitar). The duo evolved into its current form as a quartet with the additions of Robbie Szabo (cello/drums) and Jeremy Dehek (bass). Based in Alberta, Canada, the band has so far produced two amazing singles.
“Running Away,” the band’s first release, showcases Jared Salte’s vocals. Though Salte’s energetic performance veers more toward pop than folk, the single still keeps its roots in folk. Grant Lawrence from CBC Music said of the single, “…if Mumford & Sons ever held a Super-Jam with Arcade Fire, it might sound something like The Royal Foundry’s new single “Running Away.”
Their latest single, “Start This Fire,” released April 1st this year. It was released as a CD single—two tracks for the price of one single. The Royal Foundry released a studio and acoustic version of the song. I have to say, I’m obsessed with both versions. Salte and Schumacher harmonize on vocals much more in the song than in “Running Away.” Their combined vocals will steal your heart. The differences between the two tracks boils down to how much folk outweighs alternative.
The keys in the studio version give the intro and bridge a little something extra. The use of keys in the track creates an atmospheric tone that seems to expand every note. The acoustic version of “Start This Fire” seems to start with a completely different tone than the studio version. The sound is a lot earthier, more heavily influenced by a deep rhythm.
The Royal Foundry is doing well this year with two singles out now and touring. The band has been going around touring and creating a steady fanbase in both Canada and the US. They recently hit up Nashville. They’re definitely a group worth keeping your eye on.