Twilight Hotel 'When The Wolves Go Blind' - Cavalier

A transplanted duo from Winnipeg now making Austin their home. This is their third album under the Twilight Hotel brand and it has already received two Canadian Folk Music Awards. That one of those was in the Pushing The Boundaries category is unsurprising after first listen. Further listening reveals and album that draws sounds from many sources and styles. The key element is the vocal interplay between Brandy Zdan and Dave Quanbury which is at the heart of these songs either together or with one or the other taking the lead. Many of the songs have a powerful rhythm pushing them along and some take a more contemplative approach all infused with a sense of place and of getting there. There is, at times, a cinematic sensibility to songs like Dream Of Letting Go or Mahogany Veneer. The latter songs describes their meeting and a subsequent journey together. The lyrics, written together or solo, have a a story to tell even if, at times, the full meaning behind then remains elusive. The music has a hard-edged rock element over a more contemporary folk basis, but you would never mistake it for a folk album as such. There is an obvious chemistry between Zdan and Quanbury that allows each to explore the limits and progress of their music. There are times when the music takes a more twisted route as with The Darkness, a song that has a descriptive sax and fuzzed guitar that is Lynch-ian in attitude. The Zdan written Golden Eagle comes as the full five minute plus version and a shorter radio edit. It has an intensity and internal logic that draws from personal experience more that an external sense of observation. In the end though this is an album that defies easy categorization of rock, folk or roots but contains elements of each that will appeal to more adventurous listeners but is no less appealing for that.