The Balconies are an Ontario-based indie band with the most unique and fascinating CD to cross our desk in many, many months. Although it’s been out for a few months, the self-released, self-titled debut album made its way to the west coast earlier this year and has been a staple in the car stereo since.
Not easily described and not easily taken in with one listen, The Balconies are a cross between The B-52s, The Ting Tings and New Young Pony Club, without the posh production and uber-pop vibe. Think indie Blondie before the disco sludge of Heart Of Glass. It would be cool to hear what would come out of sessions with The Balconies and Canadian songwriters David Tyson and Christopher Ward (Alannah Myles – Black Velvet).
Although the band is solid and bassist/vocalist Stephen Neville sings a good tune, it’s without a doubt singer/guitarist Jacquie Neville that gets you into the band – hook, line and sinker. Her irresistible voice sounds like a soft version of The B-52s Kate Pierson, without the “rusted tin roof”. She knows where the sweet spot in her voice resides and uses it to charm.
Songs like Lulu, Ghost Fever and Elephant Lamp clearly show a band that is working to be a Canadian original. With a bit more pop-infusion merged into the songs, The Balconies could be the closest thing Canada will ever have to accomplishing an authentic 1980s CBGB’s vibe and sound. If The Balconies come to your town, take the plunge – it’ll be like hangin’ out at the classic New York night club.