The Runaway Catholics

Charmed Life

BY Clinton HallahanPublished Mar 22, 2011

Handshaking vocalists aren't especially rare, and the Runaway Catholics' new record, Charmed Life, testifies to the effectiveness of that interplay. Amid acoustic pop rock falling a tad on the sugary side, the chemistry between Brodie Dakin and Shawna Sormin is the most interesting part of these indie folksters out of Toronto, ON. It's a shame the rest of the album can't follow that example. Drawing heavy comparisons to Belle & Sebastian, the Runaway Catholics are just as frustratingly pleasant as that suggests. Dakin gets throaty on the bouncy "Suburban Blue," but comes to it like a cracking prepubescent teenager. The energy of "Charmed Life," the track, fails to resuscitate Charmed Life, the album. "Prologue" is an interesting diversion of co-opted Celtic strings, but without compelling songwriting before or after. The Runaway Catholics have some nice enough component pieces on display with Charmed Life, but without a single risky manoeuvre in its 35 minutes, it's hard to muster the focus to see them.

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