Civil Twilight has adopted a new sound on their third album Story of An Immigrant. Set to release on July 10, the eleven track album is about love, starting over and questioning everything around you--most importantly yourself. The band seems to have grown into a sound that they can claim as their own, which is a nice change from previous albums that sound like Muse’s lesser known cousin. While the album is sometimes sporadic, switching back and forth between their old sound and new sound, Civil Twilight has produced an album that is well worth listening to.
“Story of An Immigrant” is easily the strongest track vocally, with lead singer Steven McKellar hitting perfect high notes that will give you the chills. It has a very Thom Yorke vibe to it, but McKellar manages to make it his own, proving that he does not need to lean on other artists to make a beautiful track. With haunting lyrics (“Let the frozen carry me/Over water to be free/Where the other half begins/Where she waits for me”) this is one song that is sure to make you feel whole, yet somehow empty after listening.
“Oh Daniel,” the first track on this album, is the song that lyrically stands out the most. Lines like “I think she’ll move out west/ Be with the one she knows/ Leave the wreckage of this one man show” are authentic and clever, and a part of what makes this album worth listening to. Another track that stands out lyric-wise is “When, When” a much different track than the first one. It is happy and light-hearted, but riddled with beautiful imagery throughout. “When, When” is the essential ode to a lover or friend, and will be sure to give you the warm fuzzies.
Possibly the most famous track on this album, “Holy Dove,” which had over 65,000 streams on Spotify in the first week, gives light to Civil Twilight’s religious roots. The lyrics are controversial, repeating lines like “I’m not going down with the rest of you,” and can even be called arrogant, but Civil Twilight manages to make a track that is instrumentally electric. The heavy guitar and upbeat drums are sure to get you pumped for any occasion, making “Holy Dove” the perfect song to listen to when you’re feeling a bit smug about the shade you just threw someone.
Back to back tracks “River Child” and “All My Clothes” most resemble Civil Twilight’s older sound, but may not be best suited for this album. They seem a little out of place in an already slightly mixed up album, smacked in the middle with electronic vocals and heavy synth, but are nonetheless worth listening to if you were a fan of their earlier sound.
The album ends perfectly with “Love Was All That Mattered.” It is a calm and soothing track focused on McKellar’s crooning, with light guitar plucking and piano to accentuate. This simple yet elegant song seems a perfect end to an album that is filled with high strung feelings, and allows us to breathe a sigh of relief after going on the emotional roller coaster that is “Story Of An Immigrant.”
Overall, even with the few misses and odd songs on this album, Story of An Immigrant is charming and gives listeners who like a little variety what they want. The band’s attempt at experimenting with a new sound has been a success, which is a very hard thing to pull off in this day and age. Hats off to you, boys.
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