The Tragically Hip's Legacy of Side-Projects
From Strippers Union to an array of solo projects, there's still new music coming from the classic Canadian band
Published Feb 05, 2021For more than three decades, the Tragically Hip were one of the most beloved and dependable bands in the country. Every couple of years, fans could rely on a new album filled with rugged rock riffs and poetic slices of Canadian life.
After frontman Gord Downie's tragic death in 2017, the surviving members of the legendary group have disbanded and retired the name. But even though the Hip will never perform or record again, fans can still hear from them in the form of their array of still-active side projects.
As bassist Gord Sinclair said in a press release last year, "We certainly were not going to carry on as the Hip without Gord, so it became essential to grab hold of the idea that Gord wouldn't want any of us to stop making music."
Here are the spinoff projects to keep an eye out for.
Guitarist Rob Baker's band with Odds frontman Craig Northey have been quiet for a decade, having released Strippers Union (Local 518) in 2005 and The Deuce in 2011. Now, they're making up for lost time with a double album, The Undertaking. The first disc is out today, and the second drops on March 12. A limited-edition vinyl pressing is out now.
There have been two posthumous albums since the frontman's death: 2017's haunting Introduce Yerself (which came out just 10 days after he died) and 2020's more sprightly Away Is Mine. A third, made in collaboration with Toronto experimental rockers the Dinner Is Ruined, is still forthcoming.
The bassist recorded his 2020 solo debut, Taxi Dancers, while processing the tragic loss of his bandmate. A few months later, he shared "Get Back Again," a song originally wrote for the Hip more than 30 years ago, and that the group had performed during some of their early shows.
The guitarist released solo albums way back in 2010 and 2013, and although there's no indication about whether he plans to make another, he's been streaming acoustic performances from his front porch during the pandemic, and he appeared at a virtual benefit concert over the summer.
This Kingston pop-rock group doesn't include any members of the Hip, but they are a part of the band's extended universe. Rob Baker's son Boris plays bass, while Hip drummer Johnny Fay's nephew Angus was previously behind the kit (but left the lineup in 2017). Kasador's only full-length album, Brood & Bloom, came out in 2019.