The Heartbroken Tonight Tonight

The Heartbroken Tonight Tonight
This new Toronto, ON band feature some well-known Canadian musicians. Lead singer Damhnait Doyle has had a lengthy solo career and found success in female trio Shaye, while comrades Blake Manning, Stuart Cameron and Peter Fusco are in-demand accompanists for the likes of Blue Rodeo, Justin Rutledge, Sarah Slean, Matthew Good and Ron Sexsmith. The quality of the playing on this self-produced debut CD is no surprise then, and the Heartbroken have delivered a consistently strong roots-rock record. Doyle has explored rock and adult pop terrain previously, but the power and passion of her voice have been a constant. It adapts to the much rootsier vibe of the Heartbroken effortlessly, never failing to convince. A key element of the group's sound is the effective use of vocal harmonies, with Blake Manning shining here. He gets to take a lead on "Run Again," adding to the variety. A highlight is the vigorous "The Truth," a diss song likely to elicit "You're So Vain"-style conjecture about the identity of its subject (sample lyric: "you can't get out of bed 'cause you're worried what you're wearing won't give you street cred"). Another killer track is "Couldn't Help Myself," featuring resonant guitar and heartstring-tugging vocal harmonies. The quality of the songwriting on all 13 originals marks the Heartbroken as serious new contenders. Cool band name too. (Independent)