In its most primitive form, Cape Cartel was a nineteen-year-old Clay Upex, channelling separation anxiety through folk music, missing his hometown of Salt Spring Island and mastering escapism in his Montreal bachelor suite. After a chance encounter at a local open mic night, Clay got together with guitarist Ben Massicotte to record a few demos. Jake Upex joined his brother in Montreal soon thereafter and the three of them created the folk trio, High & Mighty. An EP of Clay’s earnest compositions was recorded under this moniker, although by the time it was mixed and mastered, the music no longer reflected the musicians. It was for this reason that the trio reached out to drummer/producer Dan Moscovitch, convincing him to join the band permanently once their EP was released. High & Mighty had the necessary components to redefine their sound, and they did so by recording a new album under a new name; Cape Cartel.