New album, ‘Saskadelphia,’ debuts at #1 on Billboard Canadian Album chart
A Revolver Films production, the music video was produced by Craig Fleming, directed by Sara Basso and stars actor and director Jay Baruchel, Rebecca-Jo Dunham-Baruchel and comedian and television personality Rick Mercer. The video, inspired by “Twin Peaks” and “From Dusk Till Dawn,” is in part a love letter to the period when the band’s sophomore album, “Road Apples” (1991), was released – a nostalgic throwback to music videos of the early 1990s.
Set in the fictional town of Saskadelphia, viewers meet a rebel on the run (Jay Baruchel) outside of The Clubhouse, a seedy bar reminiscent of one you might have found deep in the swamps of New Orleans. Inside the bar, Baruchel is greeted by the stares of bartender (wife Rebecca-Jo Dunham-Baruchel) and a lone patron (Mercer). From the moment Baruchel locks eyes with Mercer and Dunham-Baruchel, his character’s demise seems inevitable as the audience is greeted with the opening lines of the song.
“I wanted the video to be something that long-time fans of The Tragically Hip would appreciate, but also create intrigue for a younger audience to connect with the historic moment when a small-town Canadian band flipped everything on its head and got the whole world listening,” Basso said. “The track has a rebellious and audacious tone, which I felt required an off-beat narrative; a tongue-in-cheek thriller, contemporary, with nods to 30 years ago.”
Jay Baruchel said, “The first concert I ever went to was The Tragically Hip at what used to be called the Molson Centre (now the Bell Centre) in Montreal, when I was in the 11th grade. From well before that night, right on up to here, I can't remember a time where The Tragically Hip weren't part of the vital, every day soundtrack of my life.”
He continued, “Not every country has a band, but Canada does, and it's The Tragically Hip. Getting to be in a video for one of said songs, with my wife (Dunham-Baruchel) and Rick Mercer to boot, is nothing short of a once-in-a-lifetime moment.”
Then came Mercer, whose history with the band runs deep. In the 1990s, the television host somehow managed to get the rights to The Tragically Hip’s “Blow At High Dough” for his show “Made In Canada.” On being tapped to star in the video, Mercer said, “In show business, there are calls you think are impossible to receive and calls you do not say no to. Getting called to be in a new video for The Tragically Hip qualifies on both fronts. As a long-time fan, I love the new material and I was honored to make an appearance.”
Dunham-Baruchel added, “Like most Canadians, The Tragically Hip have softly played in the background of so many defining moments in my life. I imagine this song will become a piece of the Canadian soundscape and play across the lakes and cities of our country all summer long. To be a part of something they created is very special and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
Over 30 “Easter eggs” have been planted throughout the video for fans to connect with The Tragically Hip’s mythos. Viewers are encouraged to identify these subtle nods to the band’s storied history, and share their findings in the comments across the band’s social platforms.
“Ouch” is the first single off the new album “Saskadelphia” (Universal Music Canada/UMe), which is made up of six previously unreleased tracks written in 1990. Since its surprise release on May 21, “Saskadelphia” has had instant success among fans and critics. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Canadian Album chart in Canada and reached total overall sales of 12,410. At radio lead single “Ouch” claimed the No. 1 most added title at Mediabase active and alternative formats and No. 1 most added at Nielsen BDS rock. The album received 2 million-plus listeners across radio over release weekend in Canada.
See The Tragically Hip in a rare performance with Feist at The 50th annual JUNO Awards, broadcast from Toronto this Sunday, June 6. They will also receive the 2021 Humanitarian Award Presented by Music Canada on the same night. Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees and rock icons Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush will present the band with the award.
The Tragically Hip in 1991. Clockwise from top left: Gord Downie (holding mirror), Rob Baker (in upper window pane), Gord Sinclair (in lower window pane and in mirror reflection), Johnny Fay (in mirror reflection) and Paul Langlois (in mirror reflection). Sinclair appears in the photo twice because of the mirror. (Photo credit: Jim Herrington/images courtesy of Skye Media)
About The Tragically Hip
Critically acclaimed for more than three decades, The Tragically Hip have been at the heart of the Canadian musical zeitgeist, evoking a strong emotional connection between their music and their fans that remains unrivalled. The five-piece group of friends – Baker, Downie, Fay, Langlois and Sinclair – grew up in Kingston, Ontario.
The Tragically Hip have achieved both mass popularity with more than 10 million albums sold in Canada and over 1.5 million sold in the U.S., as well as peer recognition through 15 Juno Awards – picking up their last two for Group of the Year and Rock Album of the Year for “Man Machine Poem.” Their studio catalog includes their self-titled debut album, “The Tragically Hip” (1987), plus “Up To Here” (1989), “Road Apples” (1991), “Fully Completely” (1992), “Day For Night” (1994), “Trouble At The Henhouse” (1996), “Phantom Power” (1998), “Music @ Work” (2000), “In Violet Light” (2002), “In Between Evolution” (2004), “World Container” (2006), “We Are The Same” (2009), “Now For Plan A” (2012), “Man Machine Poem” (2016) and “Saskadelphia” (2021).
A national celebration was the final show of The Tragically Hip’s “Man Machine Poem Tour,” recorded on Aug. 20, 2016, at the K-Rock Centre in their hometown of Kingston. It was their last performance as a five-piece band. Through its career, the band became a cultural touchstone in Canada and, despite the accolades and numerous recognitions, will always be proudest of the humanitarian work members have done over the years through numerous charitable organizations and causes.
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