Set your watches.
The boys of Eleven Past One are making time for the big time and they certainly aren’t sleeping through any alarm clocks. The five-man band with members from New Brunswick and Ontario originally formed in 2007 and moved to the U.S. in 2009 to record their debut album, The Ultimate Catch, which was released the next year. With little promotional effort, the set ultimately didn’t do well, but it was the first in many steps to getting them where they are today, one of Canada’s hottest new acts. With a sound that combines an electro-pop pulse and a breezy, carefree attitude, the boys are on their way to superstardom in their native country and beyond with a pair of singles that are getting love from both fans and radio programmers.
Consisting of brothers Daniel (vocals) and Stephen (guitar) Richter, along with Kyle Bykiv on guitar, Steve Patenaude on drums and Dan Beattie on bass, the quintet originally hit the airwaves with their debut single, “The World Is Ours”, late last year at the CHR format in Canada. This was issued by a small label out of British Columbia called Tandemtracks, responsible for some other minor chartings in the past few years in the country. It gradually picked up adds in November and December before charting, eventually cracking the top 30 at both the CHR and Hot AC formats in February. With top 20 peaks at two different formats, it was instantly one of the highest-ranking independent singles on the charts, though it quickly fell down and off with no major label cushioning it. It’s still on Canada’s AC survey, but it’s essentially stalled out at that point, and that’ll be the end of its run up north.
That might’ve been the end of it until an opportunity last month, when Warner Music’s division in Canada came knocking on the door. Of course, with an accomplished roster including the Barenaked Ladies, Michael Bublé and Tegan & Sara, how could they pass up the opportunity to sign with them? Thus, it was, and they’re proudly showing off the contract they signed at the label’s headquarters on their Facebook header and Twitter avatar. Now, it’s back to business for the group as they play several live dates in Alberta and Ontario and promote their second single, “Tonight’s The Night”, their first full release with the new team.
While “World” could easily be reduced to a The Wanted sound-alike track as the boys pranced around on the beach in its video clip, “Night” takes them into the Hot Chelle Rae or Maroon 5 realm, a more mature but still enjoyable pop/rock edge with a reggae twist. The video for it, which is now streaming on YouTube, shows the boys in their element on stage, intercut with scenes from a raging party with feathers, a dance-off, and more. I’m sure you’d like to be a part of that. It may not be the most original concept, but it does the trick, and presents them well enough as some talented numbers with a catchy number of theirs. As the followup to a breakthrough single, they likely aren’t a household name up there yet, but with the right promotion, they could definitely be looking at some bigger recognition.
I suppose there’s a little bit of difficulty, at least from my eyes, of whether it’s better to have Eleven Past One established as a boy band or just a band, because it seems like they’re somewhere in limbo between the two classifications. Other Canadian bands to hit the U.S. with similar musical tastes, like Hedley and Simple Plan, have gone either way, and neither are really remembered in the scheme of things today. Perhaps this leaves an opening for the group to shake things up here. The U.S. division of Warner Music is riding high on our pop chart with Jason Derülo‘s “The Other Side”, and while they’re mostly concerned with their rock acts succeeding, maybe investing in a poppier act could do them some good. Any sort of U.S. release for them hasn’t been established yet, but I would certainly like to see it, especially with the kind of songs they’re cooking up.
They’re only just starting out, but Eleven Past One are taking it minute by minute until the world is theirs and they’ll win you over in no time.
Download “The World Is Ours” and “Tonight’s The Night” on iTunes Canada.