Crown Lands: The new face of Canadian prog rock

Two members of the band Crown Lands standing outside. CREDIT: TRAVIS SHINN PHOTOGRAPHY
Crown Lands (left to right): Cody Bowels and Kevin Comeau

Crown Lands, an up-and-coming rock duo from Oshawa, Ont. is emulating a progressive rock aura with the infectious sound of their music. The band is composed of vocalist and drummer Cody Bowels and bassist/keyboardist Kevin Comeau.

Before meeting each other, Comeau studied classical music at Western University while Bowels studied Psychology and Music at York University. It wasn’t until 2015 that the duo hit it off with one another at a band audition, where they bonded over their love for Canadian prog legends, Rush.

Being a rock duo may seem like a challenge but both members make it look as if it’s second nature. Comeau truly shows his unique craft through his symphonic and captivating guitar and bass riffs as it matches perfectly with Bowels’ soul-stirringly melodic voice and tremendous drumming patterns.

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Comeau and Bowels both use their music as an outlet for activism and awareness of LGBTQ2S+ and Indigenous issues through telling stories and poetry. Bowels identifies as Two-spirit and has taken inspiration from their Mi’kmaq heritage. Bowels also incorporated Indigenous instruments into Crown Lands music and played Aboriginal flutes on the newest album.

In addition, on the band’s website, both have said the pop culture they grew up around has also influenced the way they create their music. They name the influence from TV shows like Flash Gordon as well as the works of JRR Tolkien and Frank Herbert as “cultural touching stones” for their tone and writing.

The sound of the band’s most recent album, Fearless, captures the progressive rock essence. The band cites the album as having “Rush’s blood running through its veins.” Songs like “Fearless pt1” and “Fearless pt2” evokes the same interstellar feeling of Rush’s 1976 album 2112.

On Spotify, the band has brought in 185,000 monthly listeners. Their rising popularity got the attention of fellow classic rock band, Greta Van Fleet. In the fall of 2022, they were brought on to open for them on the American leg of their Dreams in Gold tour.

When both members put their skillsets together, their creative chemistry captures the nature of a vintage genre that can be enjoyed by a modern audience.