The Civil Union — singer/songwriter Andrew Pahl and visual artist Naomi Pahl — are an Edmonton-based husband and wife electro pop act that can trace its origins to when the duo met while in college: The duo wound up in the same songwriting course, where they both lamented the state of contemporary pop music. And much like any other creative meet cute, they exchanged their favorite indie/alt-pop playlists with each other and their phone numbers. Within a few weeks of their first meeting, Andrew and Naomi started writing songs together. About a year late, they got married and then over the next few years, they have four children together.
To support himself and his growing family, Andrew Pahl took up two full-time jobs as a social worker while managing to write and record several albums. He would play shows whenever possible while Naomi sold her art at local markets. The Pahls continued doing this until Naomi was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Endometriosis. Naomi Pahl was on medically mandated bed rest while waiting 18 months for restorative surgery. For Naomi, who was typically very energetic, life was on pause — and she was going stir crazy.
Knowing she needed an accessible creative outlet, Andrew started texting Naomi melodies and asking her if she could think of lyrics. This led to over 24 songs together, with the duo realizing that they had material that could be proud of and should be recorded. At that moment, The Civil Union was officially born.
After saving money to buy a laptop and sound gear, as well as to rent drums and other equipment, the Pahls spent weeks recording what was supposed to be their full-length debut, but someone broke into their house and stole the laptop with their music files. Refusing defeat, the Edmonton-based husband and wife duo bought a new laptop and spent the next 18 months writing and recording an even more expansive album, while preparing to play live shows once Naomi recovered from her surgery.
Naomi has recovered from surgery and the Pahls finished their debut album. And much like countless acts across the world, just as they were lining up shows, the COVID-19 pandemic put their plans on hold. Unsurprisingly, their debut album which features pounding drums, reverb drenched synths and lush boy-girl harmonizing speaks to our present moment: written through adversity and pain, the album is fueled by the fact that if you’re with your loved ones, you can probably get through anything together.
The Pahl’s latest single “Dominoes” is an upbeat and breezy pop confection, centered around arpeggiated synths reminiscent of Stevie Nicks’ “Stand Back” propulsive drumming, lush harmonies and melodies and a rousingly anthemic hook that’s perfect to shout along with your friends; but underneath all of that, the song evokes the swooning and contented sigh of profound, soul-affirming love. “It talks about the feeling of creating a different existence, with the person you love,” the Pahls say in press notes.