Multi-Layered and Bewitching Canadiacana
It’s virtually impossible to make a decision about a new album from a new artiste on only one listening; which is why I invest so much time, on your behalf, doing the hard work for you 🙂
With this record by Canadian songstress Carly Dow, it’s a good job I took the time to let it evolve inside my head.
The first time I played Ingrained it sounded ‘average’ at best; good but run o’ the mill Americana/Folk….nothing out of the ordinary.
But today it’s been on constant rotation as I did some photography work on the laptop; and three times I’ve found myself pressing ‘repeat’ to hear songs in more detail.
The opening track Olive Branch has an almost Native American feel to it as Carly chants the the words over a very basic backing of handclaps and foot-stomps; while not forgetting some luscious harmonies too.
On the following track Soil To Dust a militaristic drum pattern, some razor sharp banjo plucking and fiddle playing kicks in as Ms Dow beguiles us with a breathlessly deep song, about living and working on the land.
Carly effortlessly glides between Roots genres with the greatest of ease; with the rather poetic This Dress having some gorgeous Twang and slide guitar aiding and abetting her Bluesy tones on a song best sung in a smoky dive bar.
Several songs have that fresh Canadiacana sound that I’ve really grown to love over the last couple of years; listen to the delightful Watch It Go and Too Much To Go Back; to hear what I mean.
Of the songs that I had to come back to was the Jazzy undertoned, Down This Road. Smoky vocals, dirty guitar and tsh-tsch drumming are always going to win my admiration on a day like this; and it should you, too.
There is one particular song that I’ve gone back to many times; and also added it to a couple of playlists on my phone; Casanova is ‘one of those songs’ that only come along once or twice in a songwriters career; sometimes not at all.
A fairly simple sounding song; has so many layers to peel away it is scary; and Carly’s voice takes on a resonance not heard before or after; and her words at times are chilling but also hopeful; which is a rare balance and one well worth hunting down.
Released Canada and USA September 2015
Released UK & Ireland February 15th 2016