Carly Dow – Comet

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Marc Higgins | Stars: 5/5

Canadian musician Carly Dow, writes well crafted songs that hook you in and delivers them in a voice that can be  powerful and can be tinged with softness. Comet, following the earlier Ingrained which gathered international acclaim and charted in Canada. It is a little of veer into the new, the smooth angelic sounds of the first album now have edge, a touch of the real and a little glimpse of fire and teeth COMET opens on a blast, “Brightest Time Of The Year’s” stark banjo and striking vocal are Carly Dow, with atmospheric pedal steel and Cello accents washing around her. Both her guitars and voice are a little more strident on the mournful Country of “Sunlight Remembers.” The title track, uses striking hand claps and some classic 50s guitar to create an infectious best that Carly croons and smoulders through. Carly’s vocal on “Tiger’s Eye” just burns, the guitars and banjo are real hairs on the back of the neck stuff. This standout album track is crying out to the fade out track on some dark twisted David Lynch show. The album is, carefully sequenced with “Dreaming Of You” holding that level of intensity. Matt Filopoulos’ rolling electric guitar with that huge sound opens the track, expansive with that Link Wray menace. Carly delivers another superb vocal, still leaving room for a razor sharp guitar solo or two. 

The slurred guitar and bass motif on “Like Coyotes” creates great tension and a rumble that Dow’s singing soars over. A gentle shuffle drum beat and tasteful guitar just carry those perfect moments on. The disquiet of the crime scene like “Somethings Lost” spills from the lyrics into Carly’s powerful vocal and edgy banjo notes. “Cut And Run”, a song about giving it all up, features a surprising rolling accordion that softens this quirky and beautiful love song. If “Cut And Run” is a left field love song then “Too Bright” crackles with lust and a slight taste of lust. This is a song about letting go and Carly’s husky tells it perfectly alongside another stratospheric guitar break from Matt. “Constellations” is a wonderfully stark back porch banjo song, sweetened by swells of voices and pedal steel guitar onto a perfect moment below the visible stars. Beautiful close to a striking, well constructed and delightfully delivered album that grows on what came before.

Choice Track: “Tiger’s Eye” (NSV 485)