The Tragically Hip surprise released Saskadelphia today. It's not an unfinished record they were working on when frontman Gord Downie lost his battle with cancer in 2017, but five unreleased tracks from 1990 which were recorded during sessions in New Orleans for their 1991 album, Road Apples, and one live song, "Montreal," recorded in 2001 that was written around the same time as the other but whose studio tapes could not be found

Road Apples was originally to be titled Saskadelphia, but the label thought it sounded "too Canadian." (It's really only half Canadian)  "We suggested Road Apples instead, which they loved because they didn’t understand the reference," the band's Johnny Fay says in the album's notes. "We couldn’t get more Canadian than that and got laughs about it for years.”

What sparked a return to Saskadelphia was the 2019 New York Times article about the Universal Archives fire which incorrectly stated that The Tragically Hip's music was among the master tapes lost. Revisiting the tapes, which had been relocated to Canada in 2001, they found these songs and the road to Saskadelphia began. You can read the whole story on The Tragically Hip's website.

“I went ‘WOW’ when I heard ‘Ouch’ after all this time,” said guitarist Rob Baker. “We were a pretty good little band.”

Stream Saskadelphia below.

Two posthumous Gord Downie solo albums were released in 2020.