Published Oct 07, 2015By being best friends, it's inevitable that Cole Woods and Alannah Walker would have chemistry as band mates, too. The pair behind Cannon Bros. certainly proved as much on their 2011 debut LP, Firecracker/Cloudglow, which received critical acclaim and nabbed them a spot on the Polaris Music Prize long list. Four years later, their highly-anticipated follow up, Dream City, has finally arrived and, as it goes with both friendships and creative partnerships, it seems that time has made the Winnipeg duo's chemistry even stronger.
Still bright-eyed and totally without pretence, Dream City is lighter than its predecessor, with rough edges cleaned up for neatly presented charm. At 19 songs long, the track list dances with the danger of monotony, but Cannon Bros. avoid the trap with honeyed nuggets of indie-pop that are as idiosyncratic as they are mutually complementary. Woods and Walker exchange lead vocals seamlessly, shining individually — on cuts like "Talk It Out" and "Pretend," respectively — and together. Their sweet harmonies, shimmery guitar-led hooks and smart, story-telling lyrics make "Can't Sleep" and "Dream City" highlights.
Though the band's grit remains present courtesy of fuzzy waves of textured reverb, the overall aesthetic has been refined in a way that showcases their infectious melodies triumphantly. Cannon Bros. are still playing in the garage, but on Dream City, they've opened the door and let the sun shine in a little. (Disintegration)