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Photo by Megan Steen

Manitoba folk singer Carly Dow is releasing her new album, Comet, Oct. 19 and will be performing at the West End Cultural Centre the same day.

Dow has been sharing her music across Canada since 2013, performing on several stages throughout her career, including the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Guelph’s Hillside Festival and the Bella Coola Festival in B.C.

Comet starts off with “Brightest Time of Year,” instantly capturing the attention of the listener as Dow’s banjo strums alone.
It is followed by her band’s guitar and cello, and places the listener’s imagination in a natural atmosphere.
This directly connects to the singer’s formal training as an environmental scientist.

The same natural sound is carried throughout the album, but there is a pronounced difference between tracks due to lyrics that fall short of the well-established sound.

One might hear a resemblance to Sarah McLachlan’s emotional pieces.

However, unlike McLachlan’s lyrics, Dow’s come off as over-simplified.

In the title track “Comet,” the lyric “you’ll blow me out or kiss the flame” is presented in an extremely comedic way, when interwoven with the folk tune, rather than as a threat.

Dow, however, lyrically redeems herself near the end of the album. The last song, “Constellations” will undoubtedly prove relatable to listeners, as her metaphors paint an image of human nature in its instinctually bestial form, being guided under the star-lit sky as one questions their own actions and decisions.

Listeners hear Dow’s personal experiences and how she feels about fear, cowardice and the idea of “finishing” what one has started.

Generally, the vocals and instrumentation of Comet make it a likeable album, but listeners are likely to be thrown off by the lyrical composition of the songs.