The show of the week features not one but two up and coming bands who I predict will have a really big 2012. But since one of the bands was the focus of last week’s article this week will focus on the headlining band who show just as much promise. So the show of the week is CIVIL TWILIGHT (with A Silent Film & Anchor and Braille) at Rock N Roll Hotel on Friday August 3.
Some of you may know the name Civil Twilight from my previous articles and when I named them one of my artists to watch in 2012. But for those not familiar with the band get to know their name because you likely will hear a lot about Civil Twilight this year. The band who hail from Cape Town, South Africa now call the music mecca of Nashville home. Civil Twilight also originally was comprised of three members: brothers Steven McKellar (vocals, keyboards and bass) and Andrew McKellar (guitar) and their lifelong friend Richard Wouters (drums). They recently added a fourth member in Nashville native Kevin Dailey on keyboards to round out the band. For those wondering, the band’s interesting name means: “when the sun is 6 degrees below the horizon and the brightest stars appear, as well as planets, such as Venus.” Their music is just as attention-grabbing and their songs have equally compelling meanings touching on such subjects as love, religion, death and heartbreak. Fittingly some of their songs even look toward the sky for answers and comfort. But even despite sometimes heavy song subjects the songs are not depressing but are actually quite uplifting and definitely memorable.
There are inevitable comparisons to early Radiohead and U2 but don’t let the comparisons fool you. Civil Twilight has created a one of a kind sound and have an individuality and distinctiveness that sets them apart from a lot of bands. They also have a rapidly growing and fiercely dedicated fan base so it seems like only a matter of time before the band becomes a household name. But their slow rise to fame seems to finally be on the fast track after the release of their second CD: Holy Weather. Civil Twilight has been attracting a lot of buzz this year and getting more press than ever before being featured everywhere from Spotify to Fuse. “Fire Escape,” which is the first track off Holy Weather, has been played on local stations like DC101 and WHFS and also on numerous stations throughout the country.
Civil Twilight really started to make a name for themselves when they released their first CD in 2008. The CD was first titled Human but then was later re-released with bonus tracks and a new self-titled name. Their songs “Human,” “Letters From The Sky,” “Quiet In My Town” and “Next To Me” from their debut CD have received a lot of promotion through their use in TV shows and movies. “Human” has been featured on shows like House; Without A Trace; Vampire Diaries and on the WWE. “Letters From the Sky” was played on shows like Harper’s Island; The Voice UK; A Gifted Man; Big Love; 24/7 Pacquiao vs. Margarito and in the movie: I Am Number Four. “Quiet In My Town” was also played on One Tree Hill and Celebrity Rehab and the song “Next To Me” featured on Degrassi Season 10. So needless to say most people have likely heard Civil Twilight without even knowing they have. “Letters From The Sky” is the type of hauntingly beautiful and heartwrenching masterpiece of a song that most bands wait years to create. It also gets an enthusiastic reception at their live shows and as of right now has had the highest chart position of any of their songs reaching number seven on the Alt Rock charts. The entire CD was a remarkable and standout debut CD and also introduced to the world to the stunning and exceptional voice of their engaging frontman Steven McKellar.
With the release of their sophomore CD: Holy Weather this year the band took a risk. Gone was the more low key sound from their debut replaced by more upbeat songs and a completely different and refined sound. Their experiences on the road have no doubt changed their views on life and the world and that growth and evolution is very evident on the CD. The aforementioned “Fire Escape” is an in your face, hard hitting rock song that was quite a departure from their previous singles. That song has also been played on the popular show Vampire Diaries and has continued the band’s exposure through their songs being played on TV. But don’t worry they haven’t completely abandoned their signature sound and a few examples of their more mellow songs remain on the CD (see the breathtaking ballad “It’s Over” for example). It’s just the majority of Holy Weather is packed with a bit of experimentation, more guitars, more drums and even a hint of an electronic influence at times. Holy Weather features some of their most impressive work yet with songs like “River,” “Move/Stay,” “Doorway,” “It’s Over” and “Holy Weather” to name a few. The CD could finally catapult the band from kind of an Indie secret to full-fledged mainstream stars.
Civil Twilight could also be called road warriors too having pretty much toured non-stop for years with the occasional break to go into the studio to record or to work on new material. They have previously toured and played with bands like Evanescence, Three Days Grace, Neon Trees, Anberlin, Young The Giant, Smashing Pumpkins, Shiny Toy Guns and Florence and The Machine to name a few. They’ve also played big festivals like Bonnaroo and Voodoo Festival, played on the VH1 Best Cruise Ever and headlined numerous shows all over the country. What makes their shows special is their music is even more atmospheric, epic and unforgettable when performed on a stage. Plus any band that could play a captivating, low-key version of “Teardrop” by Massive Attack and also break out a hard rocking version of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” in the same set definitely is talented and versatile. The band will no doubt get a lot more exposure this Fall too because on top of playing a few shows with bands like Metric and Keane they recently announced that they will be opening for Mute Math on their Fall tour. That tour will include a stop in Baltimore at Rams Head Live (more info on that show HERE).
But before that show everyone should witness Civil Twilight headlining this Friday when they play Rock N Roll Hotel in DC. The show is at 8pm and tickets are a steal at $15. As mentioned last week the equally incredible A Silent Film will be opening for them as will Anchor and Braille too. Tickets can be purchased HERE or at the venue box office. Below is just a smalle sampling of their best songs to help everyone get familiar with Civil Twilight. Their music sells itself and hopefully will entice everyone to go check out this band on the rise this Friday at one of the coolest concert venues in DC. But for more info on the band, tour dates and to stream Holy Weather check out their official website: www.civiltwilightband.com too.
From their self-titled debut:
“Letters From The Sky”: http://youtu.be/9Wa7dFR09vU
“Quiet In My Town”: http://youtu.be/hkzwIvTRRow
“Anybody Out There”: http://youtu.be/xUolwC6rDxE
“Next To Me”: http://youtu.be/SCK93QFuuls
From Holy Weather:
“Fire Escape”: http://youtu.be/KybczRyLhqE
“It’s Over”: http://youtu.be/f7cW3ubwTPo
“Holy Weather:” http://youtu.be/tsGpuyxog7E