Cygnets “Alone Together” Album Review

Review By: Zander Buel

Cygnets’ momentum of new music is relentless. 2014 saw the release of two full-length albums, Isolator and Sleepwalkers, and they’ve returned barely two years later with another brand-new LP. The Canadian trio’s brand of contemporary new wave continues in Alone/Together, with the same glammy drama that marked their previous records. At 15 songs that culminate in an hour’s runtime, the band’s ambitions are big, and they reach high in the form of emotional pop goodies.

What differentiates Cygnets from other bands mining the new wave or synthpop templates is their faithful adherence to the kinds of poppy electronics that made those genres special in the first place. Opener “A Dark Chapter in Our History” is as good a dance song as any to come out of the alternative underground in recent memory, Logan Turner’s voice the focal point atop frantic keys and beats. Even the more brooding numbers like “Ana & Mia” and “Chrysalis” surge with life and mischief beneath the darkness. Songs of longing like “Icons” and “The Last Ones to Suffer” feature soaring melodies that capture the kinds of theater that Cygnets have been so good at capturing throughout their short but decorative career, whether it’s Logan’s shredding vocalizing or the sublimely romantic synthesizer riffage. Lead single “I’m Sorry (So Sorry)” could serve well as the album’s centerpiece, encompassing all of the lustrous gloom and dynamics the rest of the record follows.

The most easily recognizable influence on Cygnets appears to be New Order. “What Are You Waiting For?” and “Unaffectionate Mistress” in particular feature the anguished-yet-upbeat peppiness the Manchester group perfected in the 80s, but even that comparison feels unfair. Plenty of other, more popular bands have aped that sound, but their attempts are often watered down with tedious radio rock pandering. To lump Cygnets in with those copycats is to ignore the immediacy, the charisma, the romance that they conjure throughout the entirety of Alone/Together. To create an album of 15 songs is to demand a lot from listeners who have the power of all-access streaming services at their fingertips, but Cygnets make each song worthwhile in its own unique, new wave charm. It’s relentless, it’s distressed, and it’s irresistibly catchy. Alone/Together is an arresting modern take on alternative music.


Genres: New Wave/Post-Punk

CYGNETS. A 3 piece new wave band from Edmonton. A furious mix of guitars, synths, dancing and despair. A unique harnessing of past and future sounds. A non-stop, energetic live spectacle.Idealists who believe music should be accessible, which is why theirs is free. A band not interested in doing things the way they’ve always been done. A band that has people talking… and wants others in on the secret.



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