Imaginary Cities: Temporary Resident

Imaginary Cities: Temporary Resident
Canadian duo, Imaginary Cities have been in existence for less than two years but they have already accomplished quite a lot. The band was chosen to open the entire North American leg of Pixies‘ Doolittle Tour 2011. Their latest album, Temporary Resident went to number one on both Canadian College Charts; it is the first time a band has ever have attained the top spot before the release of their album.
Knowing that the band has made history with their new album, I was looking for what made this band so remarkable. The song writing is fairly classic; there are not many odd twists and turns in the album. The hooks are there but are not overly strong. The thing that really makes the band stand out is the voice of lead singer, Marti Sarbit. Sarbit has the type of distinctive voice that made Macy Gray and Florence Welch stars. It is soulful but a little nasally and borders on whiny without being annoying.
Perhaps no song on the album is as catchy as “Ride This Out.” The track is probably the most Florence and the Machine. With the acoustic guitar base, the track adds hand claps as the primary form of percussion. Light piano rounds out the mix as the track picks up speed. The star of the song is Marti Sarbit’s soulful vocal performance that gives the song real life.
The band does make some esoteric choices stylistically. “Manitoba Bossa Nova” is an actual bossa nova song; while the song sticks out like a sore thumb on the album, the band nails it both musically and vocally. “Purple Heart” has a distinct downtempo feel to it that makes it feel like an Air track. “Cherry Blossom Tree” has a title remarkably close to an Air track but the song actually incorporates many traditional Western Asian instruments and style.
Usually when a band tries a myriad of styles, the album lacks cohesiveness but in the case of Temporary Resident, Marti Sarbit’s voice is so distinct that it holds the album together. Through the journey of styles, the band showcases their talents and the result is an album that is sure to hold something to please almost any listener.
Rating: 8.5/10
MP3: Imaginary Cities “Ride This Out”
Buy: iTunes or Amazon