there’s something special about bands that have known each other almost for the entirety of their being. the special relationship and bond that is made, usually makes for exciting, synchronised music that can rarely be topped by artists who get together later in life. it is no surprise to me then, that two friends ian fraser and luke gruntz, have formed the most exciting band on the planet, cleopatrick. if you haven’t come across them yet, or have but aren’t quite sure where to start, here’s your brief history of my current favourite artist, in the world.
2016 – the boys emerge
having met and grown up in coburg, ontario, “the boys” have since gone on to release two eps, creating masterpiece after masterpiece on their way to success. kicking off in 2016 with “14” the duo sounded fresh, putting out four tracks that had a brand new sound, unheard of before. think royal blood but with balls, fraser and guntz established themselves within a musical niche very early in their careers.
focussing on the catchy riffs and hooks at this early stage, Chromeo (the only time caps will be used) and the other three tracks on the ep, were made for festival stages and i have no doubt, whilst this ep was largely undiscovered at the time, will become a fan favourite on the live circuit in years to come.
2017 – hometown facilitates cleopatrick’s rise
it took a while for the band to become heard though and the rise of highly suspect certainly helped, as the world was looking for music that was a bit heavier but also musically, technically, brilliant. cleopatrick filled that gap when they released hometown in 2017. there are few songs i’m immediately hooked to these days, but hometown set 2017 alight and the song charted in the top ten in our annual top 40 global tracks with ease. over 18 million spotify streams later, the track is still gaining recognition and as new fans discover hometown, they become addicted to everything the duo is creating.
the music that cleopatrick had put out by the end of 2017 was, in a word, honest. every word believable, every lyric meaningful. i struggled to find a better breakthrough act that year and hometown was without doubt the track that put their name on the map both at home and over here in europe. the only regret for me was that they didn’t release more, but it was clear they were on a road to 2018, a road to their six track ep, a road to success, and what followed was nothing short of spectacular.
2018 – the boys release career affirming ep
on the way to releasing the boys last year, bernard trigger, youth and the depths were released. all great songs in their own right but it took the ep release for me to see how they fitted in the wider cleopatrick plan. daphne did it, on the other hand, hooked me in the same way hometown did the year prior. the track is a special piece of music reminiscent of some of the best rock bands from the 80s with a modern twist and it’s quite special that this track was created by just two people. it oscillates from heavy to jagged but has a riff driving the track that makes the three and a half minutes fly by. wonderful.
cleopatrick’s touring and festival schedule in 2018 really blew them up. with performances at lollapolooza and riverfest putting their name amongst the big boys, the band also embarked on a huge europe and uk tour which say them play some iconic venues across the pond including king tut’s and rock city. the youth tour saw the duo play across canada, the states and europe, incredible and surely way beyond anything they thought was possible.
2019 – sanjake
i have to be honest, i did wonder how cleopatrick were going to build on the release of the boys. many would have left it to sit for a while but no, not these two. it only took two weeks of the year to pass before announcing they’d be returning for another huge uk/eu tour with ready the prince. not resting on the successful end to 2018, they were keen to continue this and not let momentum die down.
in march, they released, without doubt their best song to date, and that’s really saying something. sanjake has already been fast tracked to the number one spot in our annual top 40, and right now i can’t see anything taking it off them. with bmth, badflower and frank carter all sat below them, it really shows the calibre of this track. with almost 400,000 streams already amassed, this song will blow up as the year goes on and the band hit the road with demob happy in the states.
with no label and limited radio play (bar their first ever play on uk’s radio x this week) the band are doing this themselves, doing it the way rock music should be done. i love cleopatrick, i love everything fraser and gruntz are doing and i am genuinely excited about what the rest of 2019 and beyond holds for them.