Alternative Artist: Civil Twilight

Jenn Harrington

They just released their sophomore album, “Holy Weather,” and you may have heard their new single “Fire Escape,” now in the Top 30 on alternative radio, in Vampire Diaries and Mob Wives. Civil Twilight is making headlines, including this one.

With their new single “Fire Escape” in the Top 30 on alternative radio, in Vampire Diaries and Mob Wives, Civil Twilight is making headlines.

Each album they’ve released thus far holds stories waiting to be heard. Lead vocals, Steven McKellar, is the voice behind the tracks, giving his own take on life through his beautifully written lyrics. Band mate and brother, Andrew, is on guitar with Richard Wouters on drums. Their music has been described as “haunting yet soothing.” This description could not be more perfect. The track “Letters in the Sky” from their first, self-titled album can speak to this.

It is so relatable to listeners for it holds a bit of darkness, but still has the ability to bring in light. The lyric, “one day these letters are gonna fall from the sky telling us all to go free” is one of anticipation and hope; these lyrics flood both albums with feeling. If you haven’t had the chance to listen, stop what you are doing and check them out (they are on Spotify!).

Civil Twilight has been compared to Coldplay and Radiohead—two amazing bands. The boys know they hold this power in music, too. When asked about these comparisons, they felt it was an honor and said they hope that they can hold on to what their fans love about their songs and stay away from falling into the mainstream spell. They hope to branch out creatively and look forward to experimenting with their music.

Radiohead, Bob Dylan and the like hit their top five in iPod musts, but when asked what their go-to song of the moment was, Andrew chose Katy Perry and Richard, Taylor Swift. The boys are so down to earth, you would never know you were talking to a group that has had the opportunity to perform at Bonnaroo, open for Florence and the Machine and Smashing Pumpkins, tour with Mutemath, and headline their own shows.

The band currently resides in Nashville, Tenn., where they recorded “Holy Weather”. They are all from Cape Town, South Africa and have lived in Los Angeles and North Carolina prior to moving to Nashville. They draw inspiration for their music from the places they’ve been and the people they’ve met. While on tour, they live in a small, green trailer that houses (give or take) eight people at a time. It doesn’t seem to bother them, though! They trek along, stopping in cities and performing, answering interviews and seeing as much of the towns as they can.

If you get the chance to see them play live, take it! The music comes alive and the lyrics feel stronger when you get to hear it in person. Civil Twilight is waist deep in their tour with Mutemath. For tour dates and times check out After their tour, the boys plan to head back home and visit family and friends.