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- Posted on Jul 23rd 2010 6:00PM by Tabassum Siddiqui
Every now and again, one comes across a fledgling act so poised it seems they've emerged from the musical nest fully formed. Such is the sound of emerging Toronto folk-pop outfit Flashlight Radio -- their take on old-timey, pastoral folk may evoke a bygone era, but their version's no dusty replica. Instead, they put a youthful spin on what could seem like a dated sound.
Perhaps it's no surprise that they're riding the new wave of folk music, given that Flashlight Radio are led by vocalist Suzy Wilde and guitarist Ben Whiteley, both the progeny of legendary musical families who raised them on the folk-festival circuit. The pair have clearly absorbed a thing or two along the way, as their songs evoke the simplicity and craft of traditional folk music while putting their own stamp on the genre.
The band's melodic seven-track EP showcases their low-key, effortless style -- particularly the title track, which shines the spotlight on Wilde's honeyed vocals and Whiteley's acoustic guitar. A bluegrass-like arrangement fuses Whiteley's chugging guitar line with a matching lap steel melody, while Wilde's voice, rarely rising above a murmur, anchors the tune.
Sweet harmonies flesh out the chorus and there's an emphasis on poetic lyrics that paint a romantic picture of a moonlit sojourn: "A secret song fills the air/We play it quiet so it's hardly there."
Though they sing quiet songs and are still somewhat unknown, with such an assured debut, it's a good bet Flashlight Radio will one day be broadcast on a much broader wavelength.
Download: Flashlight Radio, 'Flashlight Radio' (MP3)
Flashlight Radio plays the Lake Stage at 8PM on Friday, July 23 as part of the Hillside Festival.