October 15, 2010

New Music: Civil Twilight, Elias, Jesse Labelle & Alyssa Reid

Civil Twilight, Elias, Jesse Labelle, and Alyssa Reid are all musical artists and pop/rock acts from Wax Records based in Toronto.

Civil Twilight's self-titled record is a intriguing mix of deep alternative tracks. The South African band of misfits weave a consistent sound throughout the album. Themes of loneliness and ghost imagery haunt every song with an interesting through line. Slowly, the band reveals more and more as the album is layered with eclectic songs about loss.

Despite a familiar theme, sometimes too much is going on without enough to suck you in and make each song memorable enough on their own. At times, it comes off a little too melancholic without enough inspiration to power it through.

Lasting Distraction has a breakneck pace and sound. Vancouver band Elias showcase their rock songs with urgency and authority. The speed and spirit is agressively appealing. However, a few of the songs feel like they are treading on familiar terrority overlapping a little on each other. The album would benefit from some more refinement and diversity in rhythm. The pulsating rock sounds that are there evoke adventure and fun at their best.

Jesse Labelle has a soulful presence and good voice. Perfect Accident is a kitschy album of ballads and love songs. Some might find it bland, but Labelle infuses his lyrics with a powerful energetic enthusiasm and roughness. Each song explores emotion and feelings with a certain depth and youthful appeal.

While not being anything particularly new or groundbreaking, Labelle's voice carries every song through well. "I Wanna Run" evokes the most energy and raw sense of fun and thrills. Perfect Accident serves up a nice mixture and variety within the genre of classic pop.

If You Are marks Alyssa Reid as someone to watch. Her three song EP shows good potentional. The title track is a strong ballad with catchy hooks and beats. The EP shows Reid's talent as a singer well. Her songs are well-produced and polished with a nice mix of flair and musical energy.

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