top of page

Canary explore the highs and lows of life with a rare and uncomfortable honesty, holding the contradictions of what it is to be human in both hands. Their music is raw, energetic, dark and colourful in equal measure.


Starting in Melbourne’s inner north in the late 2000s, Canary first found their voice when songwriter Matthew Kenneally paired a beat-boxing trumpet player with a prodigious violinist to bring their songs to life. Canary gradually returned to the more traditional rock format as they continued to experiment with instrumentation beyond their guitar-heavy sound. Influences from Radiohead to Elliott Smith, Philip Glass to Bright Eyes, are an undeniable presence in the choirs, strings and brass that frequent their music.


Their debut album Dear Universe (2012) captured the sounds of borrowed rooms and houses, turned makeshift recording spaces. It is one of Canary’s most direct and uncoded lyrical expressions even as it moves restlessly between genres and influence. 


Canary steadily gained recognition, earning praise from celebrated artists like Gotye and J Walker, and attention from Australian community radio and international music blogs. Their standout track 'Carried Away’, a local favourite.


Canary re-emerged from the wilderness in 2015 with two provocative singles 'Women’s Business' and 'Here We Go' heralding their second album I Am Lion released the following year. Gaining wider attention from national broadcasters, Canary’s newer work secured spot rotation on Triple J and interest from Radio National’s music show.


I Am Lion marked a pivotal moment in Kenneally’s personal and creative arc. "The album was a mirror to the cognitive distortions, thoughts, and emotions I was grappling with,” Kenneally reflects, “it's a journey from introspection to catharsis." Produced by Greg Walker (Machine Translations) and mixed and mastered by Canary's own Isaac Barter, I Am Lion was live tracked as a band at the height of its powers. Winning new fans, Canary shared the stage with esteemed artists like Saskwatch, Ainslie Wills, Julia Jacklin, Hein Cooper, and LANKS, showcasing their versatility and resonance across Melbourne’s diverse live music scene.


Emerging again from a long hiatus, Canary are set to release their third and latest album in 2024. In continuation with their layered evolution, Canary’s newest material promises to be further testament to their local standing as one of Melbourne’s more introspective and innovative acts.


Canary have never stopped poking holes in the stories we tell ourselves, even if out of old habit, passing comment on the humdrum of human striving. If Sisyphus was destined to push the boulder up a hill only for it to roll back down again, Canary can’t help but watch on.


Canary is Matthew Kenneally, Isaac Barter, Adam Dean, Ed Fairlie and Lachlan O’Kane.


‘Great melodies, killer chords, pieced together in an unconventional way’
Dom Alessio (triple j, AUS)

‘TBH I'm just psyched on everything you do and you're yet to disappoint. Keep 'em coming!’
Zan Rowe (triple j, AUS)

‘The musicianship on offer has poise and purpose’
Hilly Dilly, US

bottom of page