Album number three for Melbourne-based songwriter Matt Joe Gow and this one finds him hitting his stride with his most compelling and realised set of songs to date. Gow co-produced the album and it certainly sounds world class with space for the songs to breathe and backed up with some wonderful and stylistically varied playing from all involved.
Gow touches on a number of corners of what is variously termed Americana, alt-country and heartland rock and injects it with plenty of soulful and bluesy rock ’n’ roll. That range serves him well and never sounds like he’s casting his net too wide. The opposite in fact as he sounds comprehensively in control of his music and enjoying the thrill of playing such a strong set of songs. Gow recently toured with friend Grant-Lee Phillips and you can certainly hear his influence on the centrepiece and brilliant title-track, with its warm and melancholic drift and roll. Elsewhere, the first single ‘Ride On’ is an exceptional slice of catchy country rock, one of those should-be-a-hit songs. ‘Ransom’ hits a Stones/gospel groove while ‘House That Burnt Down (Reprise)’ is a haunting blues slow-burn of a track that weaves spells and incantations with some searing harmonica playing.
Gow leaves us with the delicate and lilting ‘We Get Lost’, a song that caps off one of the finest alt-country albums of the year, full of consummate songwriting and life affirming rock ’n’ roll.