In A Quiet World by We Are The City

I was so sure that, through The Peak Performance Project, the only band I would care about winning would be Bend Sinister, being a fan of them for a while now. But then another Kelownian band, We Are The City, came along and... wow. Suddenly I had two favourites in the competition. (Luckily, both bands ended up in the top three.) With Cayne McKenzie on vocals and keys, David Menzel on guitar, and Andy Huculiak on the drums, they find no need for bass (insert bassist joke here) and create a sound that seems much bigger than just the three of them. I've met them all, and they are incredibly nice guys (hopefully that won't be seen as a bias in the review) as well as fantastically talented young musicians. Their debut album, In A Quiet World was released last May, but it is being re-released this week for any unlucky enough to have missed it.

The aptly titled "Intro" sets the mood for the entire album and flows perfectly into "Feel Is A Word", which draws you in and builds to a grand climax. "There Are Very Tiny Beasts In The Ground" and "There Are Very, Very Big Lights In The Sky" are two of my favourite titles of the year. Both tracks manage to weave cohesively through vastly different sounds, and with a lesser band that could have ended up a muddied mess. "Time, Wasted" brings things down with some soft piano and leads into "You’re A Good Man" which again starts slow then builds to an energetic finish. "My Old Friend" is filled with nostalgia, which seems like it may be a recurring theme through the album.
"Astronomers" was always my favourite track off the album, even before the awesome video (which I had the fantastic opportunity to help with). Starting off with a calm piano and emotional lyrics, it then just launches to an epic climax and a magnificent finale. "April" is another strong song, nostalgic and emotional, while "Peso Loving Squid" has a world-y flavour to it. Both songs again showing the bands unwillingness to be contained by a singular sound. The album draws to a close with "Now For The Rest", mirroring the Intro -- both in apropos titles and mood -- to a near perfect ending.

One of my favourite things about this album is how exceptionally well it flows together. I love listening to albums in full, and when they are this cohesive -- not just a collection of songs -- it always makes them that much stronger. Even without being a concept album, you can almost draw a narrative from it; musically if not lyrically. The band also does a great job of shifting tones and genres without ever sounding like it is trying too hard. Everything comes so completely naturally, it's hard to believe this is a debut album from a band so young.

Download There Are Very Tiny Beasts In The Ground

Download There Are Very, Very Big Lights In The Sky

Download April

(look for the blond zombie!)

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