The City Route 85 of the record's title is the formal name for Portage Avenue, one of Winnipeg's main thoroughfares. Samson begins his musical study of this storied street with the song "Heart of the Continent," set at the corner of Portage Avenue and Memorial Boulevard, where a demolished building is resurrected by a narrator struggling to evoke the losses and despair that haunt the city and its people. "Grace General" travels west along Portage to Grace General Hospital, seen through eyes preparing to face the death of a loved one. The closing song, "Cruise Night" finds a young man desperate to join in the strange and innocent tradition of driving aimlessly up and down Portage Avenue, a social activity Winnipeggers have participated in on Sunday nights for as long as anyone can remember.
City Route 85 will be released on 7 Inch vinyl and through digital download on November 3rd by Epitaph/ANTI Records.