Civil Twilight 

Ignore the fact that this band's name has the word twilight in it. The moody, seductive sound Civil Twilight crafts has a romance all its own — one that blissfully has nothing to do with vampires. Steven McKellar's willowy tenor dips and flutters against moody backdrops, recalling Thom Yorke. But despite Civil Twilight's penchant for graceful, slow-moving balladry, the band 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, midtempo textures to linger and build. The band members 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 a self-released, eponymous album.

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