Get to a show. Get sweaty. The music is fast, the lyrics are sharp and the pints don’t quit.
A couple years ago, Craic the Lens was the start of something new. Influenced by his father’s tale’s of a Nova Scotia childhood -- one filled with connection to Irish heritage -- for guitarist Justin Wilson the project became a nod to the coast, though one slightly more aggressive than his grandmother would approve.
In late 2011, in Dublin, Ireland, Wilson began writing what would become the first Craic The Lens album. Performing the majority of the musical duties himself, the self-titled album was completed in May of 2012 at Calgary’s Chaos Theory Recordings. Eventually, Wilson recruited life-long friend, Taylor Lang, and Newfoundland import, Aiden Dunne, to fill out his live sound.
The single “Waiting in the Water” – written in Belfast about the Titanic’s maiden voyage – eventually found its way to airwaves across Canada and several eastern U.S. cities including Philadelphia and Boston. At the same time, the band began playing around Alberta, and establishing a fan base.
In June 2013, the band began recording "The Cannon". The 10-song album was released on June 5, 2014 to a packed house at one of Calgary’s premier venues, Broken City. In that same month, the band added guitarist Seth Parent and was chosen as a winner of X92.9FM’s 2014 Xposure contest, gaining inclusion on a compilation album with proceeds going to the Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund.
Several songs for the band's follow-up album have been recorded, with a tentative release date sometime in 2017.
The band has received attention both locally and beyond. In late 2012 they received regular rotation on X92.9FM as part of the Dailies, and were integrated into the station's regular rotation in June 2014. They also charted on CJSW 90.9 FM with their first release, and performed live on air there in the fall of 2012. In addition, they have also received airplay on radio shows and podcasts across North America, most notably on Radio Crystal Blue in Philadelphia, Quebec City’s CKRL 89.1 FM “Illusions Auditives”, and Windsor, Ontario's CJAM 99.1 FM.
Through WiFi PR Group based in California, Craic The Lens was added to a compilation distributed at Lollapalooza in Chicago, with the song "Tip Your Hat To Broken Crowns." In February 2014, IMVERYAPE.COM featured an article on the Xposure-winning song, "The Jig Is Up." The song also appeared on a 2014 best-of list, and a ten-year Calgary retrospective. In June 2014, the band was interviewed for an upcoming documentary on Canadian music, "Between Rock and a Hard Place", and in December "The Cannon" received an Album of the Year nomination from a worldwide Celtic music site. In August 2015, the band's song "Sugar" was used as the intro music for Season 2 of the Calgary-made "BScene TV".