no frills album

Jimmy Fallon mistakes No Frills grocery store for an actual band and it's hilarious

Okay, so, remember when No Frills — the Canadian discount grocery store chain with famously zany marketing strategies — dropped its own album back in September?

Created in the same youthful spirit as the brand's popular streetwear line and 8-bit video game, the album (entitled Haulin' State of Mind) was well-received among shoppers in Toronto, where it played on loop over store intercoms for months after its fall release.

Many of the album's 13 tracks were said by listeners to "slap" thanks to some hot beats, catchy lyrics and fun, Canada-specific grocery shopping references.

Solid bops from the album include tracks with such titles as "88 Sale," "A Cart Apart," Bag it Up," "Spicy" and "Bananas."

While most people who would download the album (or buy a now sold-out vinyl copy) understand that the songs were meant to be more light and silly than Grammy-fodder, the producers of at least one American TV talk show took Haulin' State of Mind dead seriously.

That is to say that they mistook "No Frills" to be an actual band, and eviscerated its 2020 album on air as though it weren't produced by an advertising agency working for a Canadian supermarket chain.

Jimmy Fallon spent nearly two minutes on last night's episode of The Tonight Show ripping on the record during a recurring segment called "Jimmy's Do Not Play List," in which he highlights particularly bad songs and artists.

"This next one is an artist called No Frills," says Fallon in a clip from the show reposted by the grocery store on Instagram. "Look at the album cover — it's a banana." (He clearly didn't get No Frills' clever grocery-related Warhol/alt-rock reference.)

Announcer Steve Higgins and even Questlove get in on the fun with some laughs at the album's expense, joking about how there are "no frills on that album cover" and the absurdity of the lyrics in the song "Bananas."

Fallon loses it when the person singing refers to bananas as "the portable fruit," sparking a debate about which foods are and are not portable, as well as whether one could actually — as the song asserts — make cold-pressed juice from a banana.

Canadian viewers were quick to point out on Twitter to Fallon that, um, No Frills isn't an artist — it's a grocery store where people sometimes fight over cheap corn and parking spots.

"'No Frills' is a grocery store chain here in Canada and that record you played on 'Do Not Play' is essentially a marketing campaign for them," wrote one Twitter user to the comedian and talk show host.

"No Frills is actually a discount grocery chain in Canada with some very un-grocery marketing campaigns!" wrote another, linking to the album.

Some Canadians were even slightly offended by Fallon's take on the work.

"That hurt to watch. That album is my grocery shopping soundtrack," wrote one, to which someone else replied: "Exactly. It was very cringe. But, I guess No Frills just got a bunch of free advertising."

But did they? Or was this all part of a paid-for ploy by the Loblaw-owned grocery chain to drive brand awareness and / or Spotify spins?

I'm pleased to say that no, it wasn't. According to Loblaw Companies Ltd., the appearance of Haulin' State of Mind on the NBC show was entirely random and unexpected.

"We had nothing to do with the segment, it was totally organic," said a representative from the No Frills team to blogTO when asked about the Fallon clip.

"And while we're pleased with the added profile for the album, we must respectfully disagree with Mr Fallon — we remain firm in our belief that the banana represents the best of the best as far as fruit portability is concerned."

Mic drop!

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