|Members of Federal Lights are, from left: Rob Mitchell, Jodi Roy, Jean-Guy Roy and David Pankratz.|
But he almost gave up on it's catchiest number before it was even really written.
Officially out on Aug. 27, the release is the follow-up to 2011's touted Carbon EP. The first single off it, I See Love, has been getting a fair share of airplay on CBC and other outlets playing independent alternative music.
"On this one, it was just a riff I had been playing over and over," said Roy of the writing process that led to I See Love. "I tried working on it and it didn't really seem like it was going anywhere.
"I was playing it for my wife (Jodi, who also happens to be the band's keyboard player) and thinking, 'If this can work out, great. It'll be another choice for the album.' I came to the point where I was like 'It's not happening for me,' and my wife said, 'You've got to keep working on it because that's the one.'"
Currently on a Western Canadian tour before taking off for shows in Europe this fall, the Roys and the rest of the band - bassist Rob Mitchell and drummer David Pankratz - will be in Kelowna for a show at the Streaming Cafe Sept. 7.
The new album covers a broad landscape of sound. From the out-and-out hook-laden pop of I See Love to more laidback and haunting tracks, it has a certain feel to it that echoes of open skies and space.
The release has been well received, recently putting the band on top of the CBC Radio 3 charts for two straight weeks.
"I was kind of floored when we saw the results of that," said Roy. "We were quite besides ourselves and we're pretty grateful and very thankful people seem to be enjoying it. Hopefully, it will get some people out there."
But We Were Found in the Fog, and Federal Lights itself, might never have happened if not for Roy's desire to get back into music and put his creative energies into something more than just being a solo singer/songwriter.
While he had achieved a measure of success with his previous band, the Brit-pop styled The Morning After, the breakup in 2008 affected him deeply because they had all been such close friends.
So Roy took a step back to reassess where he was musically.
"I was already in my late 20s at that point and I figured that was it and I'd take a break from music," he said. "It was kind of depressing and it was hard to get over.
"After a couple of tough years, I realized I couldn't do that and I started writing again and got the help of a few friends to help out with the process."
What started as essentially a solo project with Roy recording in a cold-storage room in his basement became Federal Lights, more out of necessity than anything. Eschewing the solo artist role - the songs he was writing required more than just a voice and guitar - he teamed up with his wife Jodi, Mitchell and Pankratz. They quickly developed a following in Winnipeg for their live shows.
The release of Carbon gained them a wider following and We Were Found in the Fog should gain them even more fans.
As for the band's name, that essentially came out of thin air.
"It really didn't come from anywhere," said Roy. "I liked the combination of words esthetically. It's just one of those things that you're just bouncing off the walls and it stuck."
As his own experience shows, it's hard enough to keep a band together, especially with the strain of the road, let alone sharing the miles with your spouse.
But according to Roy, that isn't a problem for he and Jodi, or the rest of Federal Lights.
Despite the fact they have two young children who have to stay behind with relatives back home in Winnipeg when touring, the Roys are committed to making things work.
"This time around, the focus is on playing with people that are friends and are close to us," he said. "Including my wife in the band this time around was just the most logical step.
"We have gigs and things like that, and if we can make it possible that she's a part of it as well and we're on the road together, it makes it that much easier for touring."
And it also helps when you have a great rough idea for a song, but just need a little encouragement to turn it into a pop gem like I See Love.
Who: Winnipeg's Federal Lights live in concert
Where: The Streaming Cafe,
When: Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. Admission: Free, or watch it online live a streamingcafe.net
More info: Federallights.org, or find them on facebook, myspace and reverbnation