by Philip Moss
Native Harrow – the nom de plume for singer/songwriter, Devin Tuel – is the perfect medium for the Pennsylvania based artist to channel her autobiographical songs of woe, redemption and the whole spectrum of emotions in between.
Blue Canyon is a song that some writers would chase for their entire career and never quite achieve – such is its spacious, melodic splendour. The title track, Happier Now, is also a standout, as she openly responds to friends who question her life choices, on one of the long player’s most crossover moments. While Hung Me Out To Dry strips back Stephen Harm’s lush instrumentation that backs her addictive voice throughout, on what is perhaps the most forthright expression of the unbalanced focus she’s placed on the wrong people in previous relationships – ‘Behind my loving smile is an overflowing well from words that just wouldn’t come.’
Tuel closes her third album with the Joni Mitchell-esque Way To Light, which focuses on looking forward – ‘I’m gonna buy myself a big house!’ – bringing the curtain down on this reflective, beautifully crafted modern folk record on an uplifting, positive note.
Secret Meeting score: 76
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