Voices

Album review: Current Swell, When To Talk And When To Listen

Current Swell release their third studio album When To Talk And When To Listen. - Photo Credit: Michelle Dowdy
Current Swell release their third studio album When To Talk And When To Listen.
— image credit: Photo Credit: Michelle Dowdy

Victoria’s prodigal sons, Current Swell, make a heartfelt return with their third studio album When To Talk And When To Listen.

The band worked with famed producer Jacquire King (Cold War Kids, Of Monsters and Me, Kings of Leon) at Blackbird Studios in King’s home of Nashville, and at renowned Vancouver studio The Warehouse.  The decision to work with King was somewhat of a calculated one; the band confessed a desire to create an album with greater mass appeal while still retaining their independent, west coast roots.  The calculation worked out. This latest offering is a seamless collection of bittersweet ruminations on love, loss, and the connections we so desperately seek.  Any track on When To Talk... can stand alone and tell it’s own story, but collectively the songs offer a narrative that reflects the maturing of the band, both in their musicianship and, on a more personal level, through their own personal triumphs and tragedies.  The emotional heart comes from two tales in particular, title track “When to Talk and When to Listen’ and ‘Marsha’.  Each address the loss of a parent and part of the grief that accompanies that experience; losing a confidente and the ongoing search for guidance.

A hint of youthful heartache can still be found in lead single ‘It Ain’t Right’, even as ‘Staying Up All Night’, a nostalgic look back to late nights with friends and lovers, expresses relief that those days are behind.  There’s faint echo of Kings of Leon in ‘Use Me Like You Do’ (the second single off the album) yet the band retains their autonomy throughout, thanks in part to lead singer Scott Stanton’s distinct vocals.  At it’s core When To Talk And When To Listen is the lyrical telling of a journey into adulthood; heartbreak has passed by, relationships have been strengthened, births celebrated and losses mourned. It echoes the journey any one of us takes, grounding us, reminding us, that much of life is a shared experience. That “how to love without condition” is a honest intent and one worth striving for.

When To Talk And When To Listen comes out May 12th in Canada via Sony/Nettwerk.A West Coast tour begins May 3, with a Victoria show to be announced soon.

 

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