Premiere: Old Man Canyon’s “Never Apart” Is a Groovy, Golden Dream of Human Connection & Healing

Old Man Canyon © Cody Briggs
Old Man Canyon © Cody Briggs
Vancouver’s Old Man Canyon dreams of bridged divides and differences overcome in “Never Apart,” the lush, groovy, and hopeful psych-soaked single from his upcoming EP, ‘So Long Babylon.’
Stream: “Never Apart” – Old Man Canyon




We’re all caught in certain life loops – some good, some bad – and the more you live, the more you start to see familiar patterns emerge within, as well as all around you. On the individual level, it may be how you treat work versus your home life, or the order in which you tackle the needs of the day. On a societal level, it may be the ways in which residents of a city tend to connect with (or ignore) one another; how places, and the people within them, tend to operate, for better or worse.

Most patterns make sense, but not all of them are welcome or helpful – and one that’s grown all the more troubling over recent decades is how we tend to talk about and treat “others” – those people with different beliefs than our own. Cultures may (and certainly will) clash from time to time, but surely we can resolve to live in harmony without violence, antipathy, and discrimination.

At least, that’s the hope. On his latest single, Old Man Canyon dreams of bridged divides and human connections overcoming differences. A lush, lilting psych-soaked groove, “Never Apart” is a gauzy glaze of optimism: A spark of sweet, smile-inducing light in an often dismal darkness.

The thesis is that we’re all “one,” at the end of the day: Brought into this world and here for a time. As you zoom out, these squabbles seem so minor and surmountable; it takes a healthy dose of perspective and a desire to collaborate – to build a world together, and never apart.

Never Apart - Old Man Canyon
Never Apart – Old Man Canyon
I’ve seen it all before
We’ll keep fighting their wars
Made us believe we’ve always been enemies
One last bomb to make peace
Said it’s why we’re all free
At least that’s the story
We’ve lived so many lives
How many more times can we come back
And fall for it all again
What’s mine is yours, lines in the sand
Even if it ends

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Never Apart,” the latest single taken off Old Man Canyon’s forthcoming EP So Long Babylon (out September 29, 2023 via Nettwerk Music Group). His first formal release via the globally-spanning Canadian label sees Old Man Canyon – the longtime project of Vancouver-based singer/songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Jett Pace – drenching the ears in glistening sound as he treats listeners’ hearts to poetic, thought-provoking reflections on our presence and purpose.



Following late June’s single “Out of Reach” – his first material in at least three years’ time – “Never Apart” sees Old Man Canyon radiating with seductive, soothing musicality and the strong desire to reconnect. One gets the sense he’s taking this time to make his own reintroduction to those folks who best know him for 2014’s acclaimed Phantoms & Friends EP (whose tenth anniversary edition was recently released, also via Nettwerk), just as he’s fostering a space for open dialogue between those who more often tend to shut down when faced with any kind of resistance. These days, that feels like the vast majority of us, but that’s no reason to throw in the towel, as we come to understand in his enchanting, musically and emotionally buoyant chorus:

You and I are always one
Can’t ever change it
Wherever I go, you’re right beside me
Just like the moon reflects on the water, you’re in it all
So Long Babylon - Old Man Canyon
So Long Babylon – Old Man Canyon

The highlights we see from our media and social media (little blue birds included) feeds can all-too easily remove the humanity from any given situation, but as Old Man Canyon sings, it’s our humanity that’s the most important part of every equation: It’s the kindred substance that makes resolution always possible, even if it feels so far out of reach.

“‘Never Apart’ was the last song I wrote for this record,” Old Man Canyon’s Jett Pace tells Atwood Magazine. “It was one of those times where I hadn’t fully figured out what the song was about until after it was finished, when I was able to hear it in a more detached way.”

“It’s a commentary of sorts on humanity’s long history of destroying one another over different beliefs or backgrounds,” he explains. “This really became clear over the past few years, both on a large scale and in my personal life, where people’s understanding of truth is so easily manipulated by outside opinion. We’re all stuck in this chain reaction of opposition, and we’re often taught we are enemies of one another from a young age. I think the song is speaking to that hope we can find a way to see through the narrative of being separate and individualistic; to find more of our commonalities as people, so that we can actually begin to unravel the lies that keep us repeating the same mistakes over and over.”

I’ve seen it all before
We don’t care anymore
Keep us asleep, we’ll wake up eventually
Nothing’s ever for free, buy your poison real cheap
And it’s like we’re under a spell now
Don’t understand how we never saw it on the horizon
Just like the light casts all of our shadows into the sun
Even when it’s done
You and I are always one
Can’t ever change it
Wherever I go, you’re right beside me
Just like the moon reflects on the water, you’re in it all
Old Man Canyon © Cody Briggs
Old Man Canyon © Cody Briggs



We’re all stuck in this chain reaction of opposition, and we’re often taught we are enemies of one another from a young age. I think the song is speaking to that hope we can find a way to see through the narrative of being separate and individualistic…

Old Man Canyon has seen the way the world is turning – the route down which we’re going – just as clearly as everyone else, and he’s confident that it doesn’t have to be this way; that we can do better to ourselves, and do better toward each other. With its gauzy, ethereal sheen and relaxed groove, “Never Apart” is something of a downtempo anthem to the hope and possibility of a brighter future in which we accept one another, allowing our differences to coexist without getting in the way of our general health, happiness, and wellbeing.

It may be a dream for now, but isn’t that a dream worth striving for?

We could never be apart
If you tried to, I’ll be there
When I can’t find the way,
you can guide me

Again

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:: stream/purchase Never Apart here ::
:: connect with Old Man Canyon here ::
Stream: “Never Apart” – Old Man Canyon



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So Long Babylon - Old Man Canyon

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? © Cody Briggs

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