The Canadian metal-rockers of Edmonton, Alberta are in a “State of Mind” – streaming now.
The collective made up of Michelle Johnson (vocals), Steven Johnson (guitar), Corey Johnson (guitarist, bassist, keys, producer), and Keith Runco (drums) have created a new, gothic style of metal – surging electric riffs and laden with the vocal prowess of Johnson. Infusing orchestral and piano-based melodies with wavetable synthesis, Circle of Wolves are re-inventing metal into an entirely different and exciting sonic experience. By combining harmonies, with complicated chord progressions, and an exhilarating stage show, Circle The Wolves are intent on tearing up the rule book, forging a path of songwriting, and performing uniquely their own.
Of “State of Mind” the band says, “It’s about being in a relationship with someone that is narcissistic or controlling in some form or another. The singer is screaming that she needs to stay in that state of mind so that the relationship never ends.”
“Every Wednesday Steven, Michelle and Corey get together and write a new song,” Circle The Wolves says of their songwriting process, explaining that: “Michelle does the lyrics all by herself.” The band will create the skeleton of the new track, with Johnson giving them time to flesh out their ideas. “They then say, ‘it’s ready for you’ and Michelle heads into the vocal booth having no idea what the idea sounds like yet. All lyrics are written on the fly. Michelle likes to work alone when creating the lyric and melody for the Circle The Wolves songs. She feels she can better connect when there isn’t anyone else in the room!”
The result of “State of Mind” is a resounding and powerful attack on the nature of broken and toxic relationships and seeking refuge to find your way out of the dark. Johnson’s sheer emotional toll on the vocals mingled with the heavy interpolation of the instrumentation brings the fear of self-loathing to new heights. The listener is enveloped in the extreme of Johnson’s pleading, seeking, and desperation while also throwing horns with the thrash of the music behind the melody. Together, the song is an anthem for each of us who have found ourselves on the bottom rung of life’s unrelenting punishment on our hearts. The listener is dared to examine their own likeness to Johnson’s story – a raw, unadulterated prose on hurt, pain and sorrow.
“State of Mind” also comes packaged with a visual component – the music video is streaming now on YouTube. “We had a low budget and Michelle wanted to do a cool selfie-like video for this single. Something that showed her personality,” Circle The Wolves says, adding: “She thought she’d wear a mask to be mysterious but be able to show her face. There are clips of live performances on this video mixed with unique videos she found on stock video photography. Combined with some overlays and a video of her singing all dressed up showing her emotion. It really came together in the end to show a very tortured Michelle.” Viewers have found themselves connecting to the video through Johnson’s lyrics, and performance.
As the “endemic” looms, Circle The Wolves are back on the road, touring and taking stages at a variety of shows throughout 2022.
And when you take a spin through the Circle The Wolves discography, prepare yourself for your newly minted “State of Mind”.