Australian born, US-based singer-songwriter Clare Bowen is widely recognised for her portrayal of songstress Scarlett O’Connor on the international hit TV show ‘Nashville’. With the show finale aired in many territories, it is evident that Clare Bowen aims to continue to develop her brilliantly unique vocals and establish herself as a leading female country artist. With a large fan following from the show both in the US and abroad, her self-titled album, set to be released August 31st, is sure to be a hit.
The album release has been proceeded by the release of the first track on the album ‘Let It Rain’. A beautifully well produced and intelligently written track, it makes for the perfect single to showcase the feel of the album. Premiered to incredible praise on BBC Radio 2 by Bob Harris, it is evident that Clare Bowen’s unique vocals are incredibly captivating. Immediately the track hooks you into the musical journey of the album and leaves you with wanting to hear more of her chill inducing vocals.
Interestingly many tracks on the album have a traditional country sound which is blended with modern influences. This will appeal to fans of both traditional and modern forms of the genre but so much more than that, this work displays Bowen’s ability to combine the beautifully crafted storytelling nature of country music with a blend of genres to create a musical masterpiece.
The album is largely paced through slow ballads and medium tempo tracks, but this fits incredibly well with the haunting tone of Clare Bowen’s voice. It is an incredibly relaxing experience which whisks you away into the depths of the stories being told through her songwriting. Couple the songwriting and vocal talents of Bowen along with the brilliant production by Josh Kaufman and you have a stellar piece of work.
Standout tracks on the album for me are ‘Tide Rolls In’ with its slightly upbeat tempo, in comparison to the majority of the album, a repetitive pop inspired chorus and the brilliant use of guitar and brass instruments with just a sprinkle of piano, it is likely to be a fan favourite of those who prefer a higher tempo to their tracks and for country-pop lovers. Further to this is ‘Little by Little’. A traditional country sound coupled with the striking vocals of Bowen and a repetitious chorus, as well as a brilliant steel guitar, makes for a memorable track which perfectly showcases the incredible vocals of Clare Bowen.
The last track on the album ‘Warrior’ is the perfect end to a glorious piece of work. An organ sets the pace for the track with Bowen’s vocals leading the melody. Her impressive vocal control is the forefront of the track, particularly in the chorus. The key aspect to this track though is the truly incredible lyrics. Songwriters have a particular knack for creating a story and instilling strong emotions but what Clare Bowen has done here is truly special. With lyrics such as “You’ve got a fire that burns through rain” and “call you survivor, say you’re a fighter, who turned this battle into a dance.” It is clear to see that she has a natural ability to lyricise emotions into a great story and develop that into a brilliant track.
11 tracks of divine brilliance is the simplest way to describe this album. An excellent album developed with strong storytelling throughout, and an impressively strong vocal performance, this self-titled album is the perfect entry into a flourishing musical career post-Nashville. In the future I would love to see what Clare Bowen could produce with tracks of an increased tempo, but that does not take away from the sheer brilliance of this piece of work.
- Let It Rain
- Doors & Corridors
- Tide Rolls In
- Aves’ Song
- All The Beds I’ve Made
- Sweet William
- Lijah & The Shadow
- Little By Little
- Grace of God & You
Clare Bowen is also heading across the UK on tour this September. The dates of which are below:
Sep 2 | Birmingham, UK | Symphony Hall
Sep 4 | Gateshead, UK | Sage Gateshead
Sep 5 | York, UK | York Barbican
Sep 6 | Manchester, UK | Bridgewater Hall
Sep 8 | Glasgow, UK | Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Sep 9 | Cambridge, UK | Cambridge Corn Exchange
Sep 10 | Guildford, UK | G Live
Sep 12 | London, UK | Royal Festival Hall
Sep 13 | Brighton, UK | Brighton Dome
Clare Bowen’s self titled album is set for release on Friday 31st August.
Review written by Liam Lewis (twitter.com/liam0324)