Civil Twilight

The moody, seductive sound of Civil Twilight is led by Steven McKellar's willowy tenor, which dips and flutters against moody backdrops, recalling Thom Yorke. But despite the band's penchant for graceful, slow-moving balladry, it plays with more finesse than Radiohead knockoffs like Snow Patrol or Travis. Civil Twilight builds tension by remaining keenly aware of its momentum: Guitars billow forth like geysers, but the trio also shows restraint, allowing quieter mid-tempo textures to linger and build. The bandmembers moved to Los Angeles from their Cape Town, South Africa, home in 2004, eventually settling in Nashville. From that new base, they recently put out Holy Weather, the followup to 2009's eponymous album.


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