RAGGED Exclusive: Civil Twilight New Dawn


June 19, 2014

From the pages of RAGGED we’re psyched to give you an exclusive excerpt from our interview with one of our favorite bands Civil Twilight! Have you entered the Win The Shirt Off My Back Sweepstakes? You’ll want to after reading the entire article in the full issue download (for free!).


Steve and Andrew McKellar opt to sit on the porch of a local café. It’s uncharacteristically hot for mid-April, with the sun blazing across the shade-barren terrace. The coffee shop is meant to channel the Pacific Northwest, a part of the world that is near to Steve’s heart. Living life often on the road, McKellar has absorbed different cultures, soaking up the personalities of a variety of cities. Vancouver is a personal favorite.

“That part of the world. I remember the first time I went there, I thought, ‘I could definitely retire here as an old man and just play backgammon on the corner, the street corner, sipping coffee,’” he laughs.

Instead, they’re sipping coffee in Nashville, Tennessee. Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, the two brothers moved to the charming American Southern metropolis five years ago, by way of Los Angeles, after a short stint living in South Carolina. They have great affection for the city, for its vibrant culture and artistic communities. Plus, it is here that they met their fourth bandmate, Kevin Dailey.


Perhaps it is these fleeting places, coupled with nomadic months on tour, that allow Civil Twilight to craft such beautifully atmospheric compositions; their last album, Holy Weather, is packed to the brim with visceral emotion, expanding and compressing sounds that emulate the peaks and lulls of life.

Nostalgia accompanies the record; like a loyal friend, the feeling of places past creeps into every lyric. “It’s hard to avoid nostalgia in songs because even if you write about exactly what you’re going through in that very moment, which is very rare, as soon as that moment’s gone, it’s going to become nostalgic, so you can’t really avoid nostalgia. We can play with it. I like that idea.”

Having grown up in a very different Cape Town than the one that exists today, Steve and Andrew moved to America to realize their dreams of a musical career. “It was interesting to grow up in that time. It was a beautiful place and we were isolated from the rest of the world,” Steve says of their native city.


posted by Staff