Arkells Drop New Track ‘Relentless’ And Reveal The Icon Who Inspired It

Rockers Arkells returned to the iHeartRadio MMVAs on Sunday night, one year after delivering a show-stealing, explosive performance of their 2017 runaway hit “Knocking At The Door.” Taken from the band’s 2016 award-winning album Morning Report, Arkells are now ready with their follow-up, having recently announced their fifth studio album Rally Cry.

Just today, Arkells released their new single “Relentless,” a hard-hitting rock song that captures the same urgency and cinematic build of “Knocking At The Door.” Infusing afro beats, banjos and a raucous chorus of layered vocals, “Relentless” has the same power and emotion to be another huge hit for Arkells.

Speaking about the new song, the Canadian band say they were inspired to write “Relentless” after the passing of one of the country’s most iconic musicians. During a night out in Kingston, ON with The Tragically Hip’s Paul Langlois, Arkells band members Max Kerman and Mike DeAngelis revealed the topic of conversation eventually landed on the late Gord Downie.

“We talked a lot about being in a band that day. We talked a lot about Gord, and how much Paul adored him. There was one anecdote that we all got a chuckle from,” said Kerman. “He said that even when Gord was sick and was going through treatment, he’d say to Paul ‘we made a record right, and we’re gonna tour it right?’ Mike D. laughed and added ‘lead singers man, they never want to stop eh?’ To which Paul responded, ‘Ever since I knew him, he was relentless. Like a dog on a bone.’ And that old expression hit me—there was our chorus.”

Inspired by The Hip and by his own band, Kerman says the song came to him as a celebration of support. “I was thinking about the idea of being a part of something bigger than myself. I was thinking about the band, and how we lean on each other, and how each guy brings something different, but contributes to a larger idea. We find strength in each other. In being relentless.”

Rally Cry is available starting August 29 for pre-order, with “Relentless” and “People’s Champ” available for instant download with every pre-order.

Ahead of the October 19 release of Rally Cry, Arkells will play Vancouver’s Skookum Festival on September 7 and Edmonton’s Sonic Field Day on September 8. The band will tour the U.S. from October 21 to November 12 and head overseas for a European tour starting November 16. See the album artwork and track list below.


1. Hand Me Downs
2. American Screams
3. Relentless
4. Only For A Moment
5. Show Me Don’t Tell Me
6. People’s Champ
7. Eyes On The Prize
8. Saturday Night
9. Company Man
10. Don’t Be A Stranger