by Tiana Feng

Twilight Hotel is the melding of Brandy Zdan & Dave Quanbury who were born in Winnipeg but now in Austin, Texas. Released January 18, When the Wolves Go Blind is full of musically defined landscapes.

1. When the Wolves Go Blind
2. What Do I Know About Love?
3. Mahogany Veneer
4. The Master
5. Dream of Letting Go
6. Frozen TOwn
7. The Darkness
8. Ham Radio Blues
9. Golden Eagle
10. Poor and Hungry
11. When I’m Gone
12. Golden Eagle (Radio Edit)

Despite being now in Texas, the two never forget their roots and there is definitely Canadian folk influence throughout as well as some European influences.

The album begins with the title track When the Wolves Go Blind. The repetitive bass drum sounds like a pack of marching wolves that aren’t getting any farther o closer to the destination. It’s an easily catchy tune that reminds me of a pop song out of the 90’s.

What Do I Know About Love has some fun accordion and European inspired guitar licks as well as vocal parts. It makes me think of drinking coffee at a cafe in France for some reason. The female vocals is just as smooth as the saxophone. Mahogany Veneer switches the mood a bit. It’s a simple, acoustic melody to start, like a campfire story, full of imagery and details of events and places. Songs like Dream of Letting Go presence the same kind of story telling.

In Frozen Town, there’s something about the song that gives me the chills as if the composition is supposed to make you as a listener frozen physically. The rarely heard piano sparkles like the fall of snowflakes. Another track that does this sort of soundscape painting effectively is the Golden Eagle which so much wilderness space enforcing the line can we listen to the wind?.

I have to admit this 50 minute album is a bit long with no tracks under 4 minutes. It took me a while to get threw it because I would get distracted by something else or fall asleep during super long interludes. The album has very little variation in speeds and mostly slow songs that make it seem like a very long trek through the wilderness. The Darkness was dark track created by distortion that was instrumental for the entire first half; which was two long in my opinion because there wasn’t much variation in the two minutes.

I feel like this would a better album if it was cut down a little in length, but if you have the patience, check it out.
Twilight Hotel- Golden Eagle (Radio Edit)[audio:]