Clea Anaïs, Matt Doherty, Brock Geiger and Will Maclellan have been playing together as Raleigh for a while, but the Calgary band are flush with a sense of reinvigoration on their third album. Powerhouse Bloom is the result of the band’s recent residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. There they were able to pick the brains of members of Broken Social Scene as well as a small stable of notable indie rock engineers, with Brendan Canning even contributing guitar to “Smoke in Our Eyes”.
The mildly psychedelic title is spot on as this a creatively fertile album. On point but also at fluid ease, the band are unafraid to let any one passage come and go, knowing that another intriguing hook is following shortly behind. The scrutiny of committee certainly isn’t the best approach for every artist, and Powerhouse Bloom may have been more or less the same album had Raleigh not had the ear of prominent members of Canada’s high-profile indie rock collective, who have been known on occasion to cram a few more ideas than necessary into their own records. Raleigh’s established assets — the distinct shade of the cello, interweaving male/female vocals — remain set, but their setting has grown.