Defined scientifically, civil twilight is the time of day or evening when the center of the sun is six degrees below the horizon and terrestrial objects are still visible without the sun’s direct illumination. As defined by two South African brothers and their friend, Civil Twilight is a brilliant, thoughtful and energetic amalgam of Radiohead, U2, The Police and Jeff Buckley.
The Cape Town, South Africa, trio began when childhood friends Andrew McKellar and Richard Wouters began playing guitar together in the mid-’90s on a lark. At 15, Wouters moved behind the drum kit and McKellar wound up inviting his 13-year-old brother Steven to come to the duo’s rehearsal. The younger McKellar turned out to be a better than average songwriter and quickly evolved into a powerful bassist.
By the end of the ’90s, Civil Twilight was being shaped by a number of American and British bands — Nirvana, Oasis and Blur chief among them — layered on top of their early Jazz and local township influences. After dominating the Cape Town club scene for years, the trio made the momentous decision to move to Los Angeles in 2005; long before the band had completed its just released self-titled debut album. Civil Twilight songs showed up at critical junctures during some of the biggest shows on television (Without a Trace, House, One Tree Hill, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) all within a single year.
With that kind of exposure, Civil Twilight is poised to storm the charts with its new album, a broad, expansive and sweetly melancholy Indie Pop/Rock record filled with gorgeously arranged songs of raw emotion (“Letter From the Sky”) and quiet reflection (“Quiet in My Town”).
Television has already discovered the emotive power of Civil Twilight. Can radio be far behind?
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