Album Review :
The Canvas Waiting - A Seasons Change

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Band: The Canvas Waiting
Title: A Seasons Change
Label: N/A
Release Date: March 2009
Review By: Scott L


01. Mercy
02. American Tourister
03. Stepping Stone
04. My Dying Day
05. January Dreams
06. Martyr
07. River Hymn

Time is such a strange thing. And while I won’t enter into the argument of whether or not time is truly a universal constant, I will say it sure seems to have a mind of it’s own sometimes. When I get to work in the morning and have so much to do, the clock seems to be frozen and each minute lasts a lifetime. But by the end of the day, when I’m rushing to get everything done that I need to get done… the minutes seem to fly past at an alarming rate. Looking back on life is a lot like that. In the beginning we’re so anxious to grow up and be on our own and experience new things. We have great intentions and dream great dreams of purpose and accomplishment. And the none day you find yourself looking back and wondering where all the time went. Asking yourself what happened to the dreams and all the aspirations that we felt so compelled by in our youth. It’s a sobering realization that time passes whether we’re noticing it or not… and seasons change… and opportunity passes. If this EP has a theme, either consciously or otherwise, that would be it. Time passes and seasons change… so live your life and appreciate what you’re given.

The Canvas Waiting is a 4-piece out of Austin, Texas that plays a jangly brand of indie rock. Some songs are a little popish. Some songs are a little more folkish. And some songs are a little more rockish. At least in my ever so humble opinion. Style-wise, I think that you could safely describe The Canvas Waiting’s sound as a cross between Holiday Parade, Windsor Drive, and Promise of Redemption. Granted, that’s a pretty broad description and none of the bands mentioned truly define The Canvas Waiting in and of themselves. It’s more that they each incorporate certain similar elements into their music and so I mention them for sake of comparison. Think of them as encouraging indie rock with a sound that’s familiar and yet very fresh.

One of the things that I really liked about “A Seasons Change” was that each of the songs had a very distinct feel to it. This doesn’t come off as disjointed but rather works well to showcase the band’s diverse set of musical skills. It’s refreshing that each song can stand or fall on its own as opposed to them all being basically variations of each other.

Lyrically, The Canvas Waiting is pretty much focused on giving the listener glimpses into life lived in a very real world. They convey it with accuracy and authenticity. The spiritual aspect of life is included to a degree, but is not overly obvious unless you’re looking for it. The Canvas Waiting is just one of those bands that seems to have a knack for creative lyrics that come across very natural and without a lot of pretense. Consider the song “Martyr” which says, “I would like to die a martyr / but some days I don’t know which side I’m on / it’s been years / since I could say that I’m happy / right here / right now / what a place to be / when your life’s lived in reverse / one night it hit me / like a moving train / and I woke up and realized / all the days that I have wasted away / so give me a cause / and I will go and start a war / give me a gun / just tell me who this bullet’s for / you can bleed me dry / even if it takes all night”. Or how about “River Hymn”, the folk tinted track that closes the EP, “take me down to the river and make me whole / lay my body in the water / and put that chill in my bones / you know we ain’t gonna sleep ‘til the morning comes / so don’t try to tell me where I belong / ‘cause I’ll prove you wrong / skippin’ our lives away down at Bull Creek / well the rope swing days have long since gone / and so have we / did Cooley ever make it back to Florida / oh we’ll never know / but I hope he found some peace”.

Standout track was “American Tourister”. Hands down. It’s a beautiful ode to the happiness in life in spite of lost dreams. It’s one of those songs that ring so true that you kinda cringe when they hit a little too close to home. “Mercy” is also worth mentioning as a runner up. this track, which opens the CD, reminded me of Making April in a weird way.

Overall: The Canvas Waiting has put out a quality 7-song EP in “A Seasons Change” that is definitely worthy of adding to your collection. Simon says, check it out.