Canadian alt-rock greats Sloan are gearing up to release their 12th album on April 6. The four members, who all write and sing and contribute three songs each here, have carved out particular niches. Patrick Pentland delivers the riff-rockers, Chris Murphy is keen on witty wordplay and big hooks, and drummer Andrew Scott is the black sheep wildcard who isn't afraid to take the band into unfamiliar territory (reggae, 18-minute song suites with children's choirs). Guitarist Jay Ferguson, meanwhile, makes airy, '70s-inspired pop descended from groups like The Raspberries. A perfect example of that is "Right To Roam" from the new album which packs in a lot into less than three minutes: featherlight harmonies, a handclap breakdown, and a melodic guitar solo and an earworm chorus.

Lyrically, Jay tells us "Right to Roam" was "a term I’d only first heard of when at a wedding in England. A relative of the groom was telling me about his hiking adventures in Scotland where they have a freedom-to-roam act giving people access to private land for wandering, walking, and hiking to prevent creating a country of overwhelming private property. I used the phrase as the basis for an England/Wales travelogue, and also a contemplation on pluses and minuses of personal freedom." The song makes its premiere in this post and you can watch the lyric video below.

Sloan will be on tour this spring, playing NYC's Bowery Ballroom on May 10 (tickets). Updated dates are listed below.

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SLOAN - 2018 TOUR DATES
Apr 3 Sudbury, ON Townehouse
Apr 4 Thunder Bay, ON Crocks
Apr 5 Winnipeg, MB The Pyramid
Apr 6 Regina, SK Turvey Centre
Apr 7 Saskatoon, SK Broadway Theatre
Apr 8 Red Deer, AB Bo’s Bar & Grill
Apr 9 Grande Prairie, AB Better Than Fred's
Apr 11 Calgary,AB Marquee Beer Market
Apr 12 Edmonton, AB Starlite Room
Apr 13 Medicine Hat, AB The Silver Buckle
Apr 14 Fernie, AB Fernie Resort
Apr 15 Nelson, BC Spirit Bar
Apr 17 Campbell River, BC Tidemark Theatre
Apr 18 Nanaimo, BC The Port Theatre
Apr 19 Victoria, BC Capital Ballroom
Apr 20 Vancouver, BC Imperial
Apr 21 Portland, OR The Doug Fir
Apr 22 Seattle, WA Columbia City Theater
Apr 24 San Francisco, CA Rickshaw Stop
Apr 25 Los Angeles, CA The Moroccan Lounge
May 3 Halifax, NS Marquee (ECMA festival)
May 5 Portland, ME Empire
May 7 Boston, MA Brighton Music Hall
May 9 Philadelphia, PA Boot & Saddle
May 10 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
May 11 Washington, DC Rock & Roll Hotel
May 12 Buffalo, NY Iron Works
May 19 Bala, ON Kee to Bala
Jun 19 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
Jun 20 Detroit, MI St. Andrew’s Hall
Jun 22 St. Louis, MO Blueberry Hill Duck Room
Jun 23 Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge
Jun 24 Saint Paul, MN Turf Club
Jun 27 Timmins, ON Stars and Thunder Festival