royal oak promo photo

Review & Interview: “End of the Night” by Royal Oak

Royal Oak dropped their latest single, “End of the Night”, on April 22, 2022. The song is their third single off their upcoming album which was shaped almost completely over Zoom during the pandemic. 

Unlike the band’s first single from the upcoming album, “Steal My Hoodie”, “End of the Night” is all dance vibes and flirting with the listener. The song opens with a bit of guitar, kick drum, and snapping. A nice little beat going. Then, the first verse from Austin Ledyard. Inviting. Flirtatious. But then drummer Myles Philpott takes all the focus on the chorus with his smooth vocals that complement the funky vibe there. Of course, there’s also this full-on 80s vibe guitar solo at the end performed by bassist Brayson Wong. There are just so many layers to this song and I love it!

Lyrically, the song is about bumping into an old friend. Sparks fly. What started out as friendship rekindling turns into something more. “You know exactly where I’ll be at the end of the night.” The get-up-and-groove song was written at a time during COVID where everything was shut down. There was no meeting new people or dancing in the club. It fully encapsulates that feeling of freedom and fun.

Royal Oak came together in the Vancouver suburbia. The four members–Austin Ledyard, Myles Philpott, Michael Kragelj, and Brayson Wong–have been friends since childhood. They even learned their instruments together! Now that things are opening back up, you can look for them to play live. To know when, follow them on their socials linked below. 

Q&A with Royal Oak

Q: That guitar solo is fire! What was the inspiration behind “End of the Night”?

ROYAL OAK: When heading into writing this upcoming album, “sexy” was a vibe that we really wanted to dive into. Having been influenced by Honne and Dua Lipa, we really wanted to write a dance song, which was something we haven’t done before. We had put together the compositional demo in the winter of 2019 after returning home from our national tour that year, however we didn’t actually tackle the lyrics until the early days of the pandemic, right as we were locked down and couldn’t go anywhere. I think that really influenced us to write about something that we were really missing, being the nightlife, connecting with people, and just trying to live our best life haha, so it really hits home for us.

Q: What did you enjoy most about making “End of the Night”?

ROYAL OAK: Honestly, the whole process was a lot of fun! We kind of threw the whole “what makes a Royal Oak song” train of thought out the window and just decided to go hard on experimenting and exploring each of our strengths. We had our drummer Myles take lead vocals on the choruses because he just has such a smooth voice and it really compliments Austin’s verses.

We also threw some slap bass in there for the first time in our catalogue, we got some auxiliary vocals from Nette, another Vancouver artist, and that guitar solo was actually the original from the demo! It’s funny, our guitar player was traveling abroad at the time so when it came time to lay down a solo idea, the rest of us (Austin on keys, Myles on drums, and myself on bass) sat in a circle and passed around the guitar trying different takes and I ended up laying down the solo you hear on the track. It was just one of those beautiful  “that’s it!” moments. We loved it so much, we ended up expanding on it for our live performance!

Q: What has been one of the highlights of your music career so far?

ROYAL OAK: We’ve done a few national tours before the pandemic, completely self booked and managed, and those were so rewarding. We’ve been a little quiet since then but we’re definitely coming back strong; at the time of writing, we’re currently locking in our song for airplay on national television on Hockey Night in Canada! It’ll be a first for us, and we couldn’t be more stoked that haha.

Q: What is the Vancouver music scene like?

ROYAL OAK: Vancouver is crazy diverse. We have so many great bands and artists here, it’s almost hard to keep track! Unfortunately, we have a track record of closing iconic venues, which is really hitting us hard lately in the live music scene, but with TikTok we have artists from Peach Pit, to Jessia, to Archspire blowing up left right and center and it is honestly so cool to see.

Q: What’s your go-to karaoke song?

ROYAL OAK: Haha what a question! I can’t speak for the rest of the guys, but I’d have to go with “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith. It was the first karaoke experience that my good friend Chersea (one of my favourite Vancouver artists) roped me into. I did NOT consider myself a singer at the time, so I’m sure it was just terrible but I guess that’s the whole point haha.

Q: What’s next for you?

ROYAL OAK: Aside from Hockey Night in Canada, we’re heading out to Toronto in a month for Canadian Music Week, and we’re still working on dropping singles as we lead up to our album in 2023. Maybe a tour in fall? It’s undecided since we have so much to do, but we just played our first show since the pandemic in our hometown last night and we are just ITCHING to get back out there!

Reviewed & Interviewed by Dana L. Sullivan





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