Bontempi What Keeps Us Awake

Running at just over half an hour, this eight-track EP is a pleasant, albeit brief, distraction. This former Halifax band, now hailing from Vancouver, deliver soft, melodic sounds translating to a raw, almost live sound. It is the album’s imperfections that make this an endearing listen, and Bontempi’s light songs demonstrate an understanding that simplicity is sometimes the best route towards effective expression. Featuring Carla Gillis on guitar and vocals, her efforts are backed by the band’s subtle use of keyboards, drums and twangy guitar — a combination that works well for this group’s overall sound. Some tracks to note include the gentle "I Can Hear You,” a song that evokes strong feelings of nostalgia, and the dreamy "Before There Was You,” which speaks volumes about romance without having much to say much lyrically. This is a must own for lovers of indie pop with shadowy overtones and a solid release that makes Bontempi’s future work worth looking forward to. (Independent)