My most recent, and frankly only, experience with South Africa has been a recent obsession with South African flavored potato chips. They are sold at Trader Joe’s for $2.99 a bag and have a flavor that is indescribably mysterious. The label vaguely describes the seasoning an “exotic smoked flavor,” yet I think “legal crack” is more accurate. If South African foursome Civil Twilight enjoyed these chips whilst growing up in Cape Town, I am immensely envious.
The quartet, composed of brothers Andrew and Steven McKellar, Richard Wouters, and sole-American member Kevin Dailey play music that is equally anthemic and ominous. Their ambient melodies and mysterious vocals make it easy for listeners to compare them to U2, yet they sometimes possess a dissonance that bears a resemblance to less-radio friendly outfits such as Muse or Radiohead.
Dichotomous and unique as they may be, Civil Twilight’s music is undeniably uplifting, and thereby, you’ve heard it on television. The band has numerous tracks that have been featured on a strong roster of shows, and now the foursome is touring the U.S. Nashville has now become their permanent home, and they were kind enough to stop by and share with us their five favorite things in town.
Their newest LP, Story of an Immigrant, is out now.
– Joe R. Jr.
Nashville Five /// by Civil Twilight :::
1. Taqueria El Dollar on Nolensville Rd
This place is one of those awesome hole in the wall taco trucks that you see along the side of the road in the less desirable parts of town, except that this one is freaking awesome! I shouldn’t even be telling you about it. Just go and prepare to be transported into road-side taco heaven bliss!
2. Radnor Lake
A beautiful spot away from the crowded city. I like nature, I like water and I like walks, and this nature reserve is just a good spot to get away from bustle and be immersed in the beauty of nature, without having to drive an hour to do so.
3. The pizza at City House
As you can tell, we like the food places. And we’ve eaten a lot of good pizza in our day but none as good as the belly ham pizza with the fried egg at City House. Trust me. You won’t regret it.
Another foodie find. This one is technically not in Nashville but it’s only about 25 minutes south in Franklin. Owned and operated by South Africans who prepare meat sausages and jerky according to the exact standards spices and specifications of our homeland. It’s basically a butcher, but South African in flavor! They also have an array of other South African treats imported directly for your enjoyment.
5. Nisolo shoes
We had to put a cool Nashville clothing boutique on the list. There are many great artists and artisans in town and more and more shops like this are opening up, making the city a rather fashionable destination. These shoes are different as they are all leather and hand made in Peru. The best quality and style you’ll find, and the owners help build wells and feed kids in Africa. We love Africa, we love these people, and we love their shoes.