Canadian rock vocalist Lindz Riot of Mary And The Black Lamb recently offered PureGrainAudio her track-by-track for each song from the band’s masterpiece debut As The City Sleeps. Read on to get the inside scoop for each of these stunning anthems.

She Is: What a powerful song musically and lyrically to start the album off with. It has a strong statement in not losing hope when you realize you can’t control the chaos in your life. I wrote it when I had two friends hurt each other and then in the same night took out their aggression on me, a lot of really hurtful things were said, especially towards my musicianship and writing abilities. I had to remind myself that I am not to blame for their frustration and the poem basis for this song was written that night. Over all it’s about remembering who you are and being true to your dreams when others try to break you down.

Stay Away: Simply a relationship song, but the person who it was about had a quirk to them. They had something about them I was always drawn to and I could never figure out why. Near the ending of our relationship the person just made me sick to be around, let alone even think of. This song came to be melodically before I attached the lyrics to it. It’s definitely a memorial of some darker days.

Departed: The oldest song on the album. I wrote it when I was in high school actually. My very basic idea of how so many once respected musicians let go of making art and start making crap for money. It was sparked when I realized how crazily polluted our air waves really are.

Gone: To this day I still can’t play this one live without getting super emotional. It IS about that first real heartbreak. No one should have to go through it, but we all do and obviously it makes us the stronger people we are today. I just wanted to capture that moment through this song so I never forget what broke me to bring me back. Musically I wanted it to be on piano, but the producer said it would be too Evanescence-esque and back then my piano skills where that of a 5 year old. Maybe one day I’ll rehash this one in a new light and talent.

Emily: My own personal Grimm’s Fairy Tale. It is a true story and it is perfect in every which way: Dark and haunting, innocent and playful. My first attempted at something symphonic. It is where I plan to take my writing in the future.

The Price: We wanted a heavier title on the album, something borderline metal. This is about as close as we got to it adding a hint of industrial into it. The song is pretty straight forward: You’re a lying moron and now that I’ve figured you out I can’t wait to watch you crumble. It’s very sadistic indeed.

Not The Girl: Our pop tune, the lighter version of the same theme in “She Is”. But also was great for some upbeat string parts to experiment with. Vocally I had a lot of fun singing this one also.

Forgot You Now: Again, the story about that first true love heartbreak, except the angrier side of it. It was my first attempt at switching from a 4/4 to 3/4 instrumental for the bridge. Something I plan to do more often in my next set of songs, only lyrics will be added this time ;). If I could go back and redo this one though, I would be much more symphonic and more electronic in the beats, like how I originally wanted it to be.

Stranger: I can’t fully take credit for writing this track. Our ex-keyboardist Matt Kelly wrote the music, and I, the lyrics. He gave me the sample of it one night before I had to head to work for the night shift. At this coffee shop I worked for we had high traffic of the sex traffic workers. I became empathetic to their situation and believed the music sample matched their lifestyle. The lyrics and melody then came soon after and to this day it’s still a personal favourite next to “Emily”.

Silence: My first polished, ballad duet! It was exciting to put together and a pleasure to sing with Nixon Cutz, like always. We both wrote the lyrics because we were going through the same thing in life at that time: growing away from a best friend. When it came together it was brilliant and we were very proud of it. This is definitely the song where you can hear the major Canadian pop rock influence that we grew up with.

Check out the song: “Stay Away”