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In the two years following their 2017 LP “American Love,” Toronto‐based Fast Romantics were living a double life between stage and studio. The band had earned a loyal following after NPR declared their hit Julia “triumphant,” endearing fans to their unique brand of irresistible pop hooks and anthemic live shows. Singer‐songwriter Matthew Angus’ emotive, personal approach to lyricism found the band breaking new musical ground and exploring more difficult themes.

But as 2020 roared in ‐‐ despite promises made from the stage ‐‐ there was no new record. Battling a deep depression, Angus had been leaving every song unfinished, in what he describes as “a paralyzing whirlwind of self‐doubt.”

The 6‐piece fled to California to find their footing, but news of pandemic border closures forced early flights home. In the air, Angus snapped out of his funk. “We had so many songs we were proud of. The world was telling us life was short.

It was time to finish something.” As the world hit the brakes, Fast Romantics stepped on the gas. Quarantined away in separate apartments, songs were finished remotely. They spent two weeks with Marcus Paquin (Arcade Fire, The National) via all‐night video calls. Angus describes the process as “the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had with somebody I’ve never hugged.”

By April, “Pick It Up” was born, a lush collection of songs about self‐destructive demons, about a world losing control, and about the hope that something better is around the bend.



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