Glow's biggest strength is how seamless Velan and his band of Montreal heavyweights — Jamie Thompson (Islands, the Unicorns), Morgan Moore (Barr Brothers), Max Henry (Suuns), Ariel Engle (AroarA) and Ngabo Kiroko (Dear Denizen) — are able to transition from style to style. The strong opener "As They Are" is an introspective, bittersweet folk-pop gem that rolls right into the multi-voiced plea of "Call Me Into Your Heart." On the following track and album highlight "un-American Gothic," Velan rebels against the traditionalism of the titular painting and celebrates lost love with a deceivingly breezy guitar part. Later, the buoyant "Listen, Elijah" glides into the forlorn reggae-tinged "Steal You Away" without struggle.
On Glow's closer, "Perfect World," Velan's parting message to listeners is that "I'm turning into what I want." Velan's pairing his last words with a strutting rock groove suggests he's brimming with confidence by record's end, and he has reason to be: True to its name, Glow shines. (Newsong Recordings)