The Canal
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The Canal

Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Alternative Hip Hop




"Music is Alive: The Canal debuts their new music video"

Music has the power to do many things. It can inspire, it can energize, it can uplift, it can even be your escape from the world outside. For every person, it can mean a variety of different things, but if there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s this:

Music makes us feel alive, and that message is exactly what this rock/hip-hop septet wants to convey.

This week, local Indy artists The Canal debuted the music video for their song “Alive,” which is the second single off their debut album Make A Mess, which was released in 2011.

The video–which was directed once again by Adam Shewmaker–was shot primarily at the Earth House Collective just outside of Downtown Indianapolis with the rest of the club scenes taking place at Room 929 in Broad Ripple. So what is it about? Frontman Shy Holder offered this statement:

“The video/song just describe the energy that music can pump through you. That adrenaline rush you get when you’re walking through a club and the lights are flashing and your favorite song comes on. Living in that moment, where nothing else matters but that song and that energy.”

Indeed, music is alive.

So without further ado, The Canal presents to us their latest music video “Alive.” - Indy Concerts

"#Review: Make A Mess @walkthecanal"

The Canal is what you might hear if Kanye West, Kid Cudi ,or Lupe Fiasco decided to link up with Coldplay or The Fray to make an album. With best friends Shy Holder and Blake McCamey saying they wanted to start a band with a different sound, they did just that. After the addition of Evan McCamey and Cavan McGinsie (who contribute to a healthy lump of the songwriting) the band then added Brad Johnston (drums), Jonny Dyer (guitar) and finally Sina Akande (cello). Shy does the rap vocals while Blake is on lead guitar and back-up vocals. “Make A Mess” is their first offering as a complete band, giving you 10 songs and a bonus.

The album leads off with “Walk The Canal”, letting the band tell you that this is, “their Finding Nemo but instead of a sea full of fish it’s a sea full of dreams.” Your trip on The Canal begins here. From that comes “Make A Mess”, a track about not having a care about your actions. This track gels really well, even at the breakdown when Shy starts rapping about being “a nice guy, plus I’m in a band.”

“Sand” (one of their first songs recorded) is the groups attempt at a commercial song for radio play and it works like a charm. The cello from Sina completes the track. “Start A Fire” starts off a little boring but it eventually picks up after the first few bars. While tracks like “Lemons (Tequila Shots)” and “Alive” will have you singing along with the chorus at your local bar while getting hammered and dancing, they strike gold with “Hold Me Still.” The track is flawless with the perfect melody of a piano and cello laying the landscape for a really great love song. The group ends the album with “Take Me There”, where Evan claims he had a nightmare “where all my dreams came true”, making it another great slower song.

The instrumentation on this album is nearly flawless and the fusion of hip hop vocals over rock instruments is amazing. It’s not like anything you’ve heard before (i.e. Gym Class Heroes). I can’t commend Evan McCamey enough for how perfect his vocals fit on top of every track. It has a perfect mix of songs, not too fast paced and also not as if your recent girl dumped you and you hit the notepad writing from depression. Make A Mess is the FIRST album to receive 5 out of 5 crowns from the site. You can purchase it here.

Tracks to check for: “Sand”, “Alive”, “Hold Me Still” - Prince Jay's Mindframe - PrinceJay

"Review: The Canal - Make A Mess"

Have you ever heard of The Canal? When I say canal I do not mean a navigable transportation waterway. I am talking about a new Alternative / Hip Hop / Rock / Rap / Awesome band. Their new album, “Make A Mess”, is a mixture of many different elements that come together to create a masterpiece.

Every song on the album has it’s own feel. None of the songs sound the same which is essential to a good listening experience. Many albums that have been released lately only have a few songs that I like while I skip over the rest of them. Make A Mess is full of well put together songs that keep you hooked throughout the entire album. Enough of my talking. Just take a listen for yourself. - MProCo - Michael Miller

"Walk The Canal: Local Music"

ndianapolis, IN. The Canal— in a sense, is the blood that runs through the heart of the city. In all seasons, day or night, its calming flow invites Indianapolis’ own to come walk alongside. This landmark can be inspiring, and has fueled inspiration for enigmatic front man Shy Holder. His words are bold, but his flow is gentle. When you listen to The Canal, you’ll get the impression of a man haunted by his past relationships, the good, the ugly, the heart-wrenching, the un-escapable moments of his life. The Canal has legitimate potential to stroll into the musical lime light, but don’t forget that they’re already holding high spirited and exhilarating live shows with fans that love to dance and listen to their music.
With a unique vision, or ear per say, of how music should sound, it’s difficult to make a comparison of The Canal’s style with other contemporary artists. At first blush, I would like to say ‘narrative symphony’ but even this isn’t entirely accurate. They have some influences from folk music, but definite similarities to modern music. From the acoustic groove of Dave Matthews and the emotional rock of the All American Rejects, The Canal paints a spectrum of sound. There lies common ground for any listener to enjoy and identify with. Shy Holder’s vocals are more hip-hop than song, but unlike the rap giants of today, he makes it clear he understands humility; yet, he certainly carries the charisma to assert a powerful, poignant voice.
Like any worthwhile art, it would take a 1000 words to begin describing The Canal. So I won’t attempt it. Instead, give them a listen, you won’t be disappointed.

Listen to them here!/walkthecanal?v=app_2405167945 - Eric Young

"Indianapolis has a new favorite local band - The Canal."

Indianapolis has a new favorite local band - The Canal. The band is made up of seven young men whose talent is beyond apparent in their efforts and results. The string instruments, vocals, rapping, beats and lyrics will be stuck in your head for days to come. The singer’s voice is raspy and passionate, and his lyrics are mixed with an ethereal mix of hip-hop and a cello. The rapping, provided by Shy Holder, will have you chanting along, getting excited, and loving the shout-outs to Indiana and the Midwest.

The Canal’s passion and drive is so evident in their debut album that I cannot wait to hear more. They seemed to pour every ounce of their emotions into the making of this album, and it can be felt by the listener. Definitely something I can imagine hearing on the radio.

Their debut album titled “Make a Mess” will be released on June 11, 2011. The album release show is being held at Birdy’s at 71st and Keystone from 8PM-1AM. Be there! I guarantee you will NOT regret it.


Songs to Download: “Make a Mess”, “Lemons” (soon-to-be club favorite!) and “Hold Me Still”
- Ciao! Ciao!


Still working on that hot first release.



The Canal is a seven-piece band based in Indianapolis, IN that fuses together music’s most popular genres of rap, pop and rock. Some have referred to this style as alternative rock, power pop, hip-pop or even alternative rap; but we just consider it good music. Local blogger, Eric Y. Shin, went as far as referring to The Canal’s music as a “narrative symphony.” Shin then went on to add that, “The Canal paints a spectrum of sound.”

Our inspiration spills out of our music upon first listen as you may be reminded of the sounds of such groups as Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, or The Fray all romantically intertwined with hip-hop sounds reminiscent of Lupe Fiasco, N.E.R.D., and Gym Class Heroes. And although inspired by these great artists, every Canal song is a motion picture in itself; a new story and a journey all its own.

Our debut album, “Make A Mess,” has created a giant buzz in our hometown since its June 11th release followed by regional and national attention, including our music video for “Lemons” being added by MTV and VH1.

Regarding the album, WMGI (100.7 MIXFM) Terre Haute afternoon radio personality, Just Plain Joe, wrote: “The instrumentation on this album is nearly flawless and the fusion of hip hop vocals over rock instruments is amazing. It’s not like anything you’ve heard before.”

“Lemons,” the first single from “Make A Mess,” is currently a power on Indy’s number one rock station, X103 (WRZX), being proclaimed as “the most buzz worthy song on the X.” This proclamation has also been given to songs such as, “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall,” by Coldplay and “Heaven,” by O.A.R. “Lemons,” has also quickly become an anthem on college campuses throughout Indianapolis as well as the Broad Ripple nightclub scene.

In August 2011 The Canal opened up for national acts Hellogoodbye and Steel Train at Carroll Stadium and played alongside Abandon Kansas in April of 2012. The “Lemons” video can currently be seen in/on 22 different markets/outlets including Los Angeles, New York City, Denver, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Newark, Oakland as well as and

This group is dedicated, determined and ready to share our music with the rest of the country. We hope that you are ready to “make a mess."