Review – “Derrival” – Derrival

reviewed by Eleni Armenakis

No stranger to Grayowl’s pages, Vancouver’s Derrival is back—this time with a full-length album to follow up their 2015 EP and a series of singles that have kept the band’s name in mind for years.

Winners of the 2013 Win the Stage competition in Squamish, and, notably, one of three bands to attend the first Allan Slaight Juno master class, the band has been on the rise for the better part of a decade. And while some may wonder why a band formed in 2009 is only releasing their first full-length album in 2017, the group isn’t shy about the challenges of being an indie artist these days, although they earnestly admit they were in too deep before they figured out the odds.

But maybe there’s a chance the five-piece can defy those odds, especially considering the accolades they’ve already built up. Their upcoming self-titled album has already landed single “Ice Cream” on CBC, eight years after the national broadcaster aired one of their first tracks.

It’s a perfectly timed track for the last days of summer, and one that captures the youthful lightness of the band’s pop sound. New loves and broken hearts collide with each other as Adam Mah’s electronic voice bounces along to the notes and each song quickly turns into yet another dance number.

“Ice Cream” is a sweet track that lives up to its name, full of hesitating charm. But it only takes two tracks to come up to “You’re Not The Only One,” and its callous bite. Still, even as Mah pours it out, it would be easy to miss the shift as the synth-heavy band pitches into upbeat melodies that make every track feel like a love song.

There’s an almost dizzying vulnerability on display, masked by an innocent exuberance—that is until “If Only You Knew” reveals the doubts lurking beneath the leaping choruses. It’s a somber end to an album full up on life, but one whose execution leaves you wondering—and going back—to all those earlier tracks to start peering beneath the notes to find what you may have missed the first time.

Top Tracks: “You’re Not the Only One”; “If Only You Knew”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)

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