DANIEL ISAIAH – High Twilight

reviewed by Sebastian Gahan | Monday, July 25th, 2011

Hailing from Montreal, the gloriously named Daniel Isaiah’s new album High Twilight is a thoughtful but full-bodied aperitif, and if it were a beverage one might sip it delicately over a long period rather than gulping it down. Indeed, it took me a few listens to full appreciate it, but ultimately it was a rewarding experience. Its sound conjures up moments of the soul beneath darkened skies, and the title, if I hadn’t known it before listening, confirms this fact. Good nighttime listening is hard to get right, but in my opinion, it works perfectly here, although I doubt it was a deliberate choice on the artist’s part.

The guitar work is delicate — even pensive, on occasion — despite the more boisterous melodies that appear later in the run. But early in the track sequence we get the catchy, surely radio-friendly “The Naked Night” with vocals insistent that you take notice, as well as great lyrics. “Candlemaker Row” also offers similar thrills and an excellent acoustic stomp that only the most fickle of listeners could resist.

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Other highlights include the trumpet-infused “The Hours,” which features a vaguely New Orleans vibe floating delightfully throughout, and a delicate French song entitled “Melissa.” I urge you to seek  out High Twilight and hear for yourself its dark but impassioned majesty.

(Secret City Records, 2064 Jeanne-Mance, Montréal, QC  H2X 2J5 Canada)

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