The music of Diane Motel is so precisely assembled, so patiently delivered and so uncomplicated in its arrangements that there's almost a purity to it. Lonesome for the Colour, the debut from the Windsor, ON folk quintet, is a sturdy listen built upon collating strings, courtesy of guitarist Josh Fraser and co-vocals Travis Laver, and tightly-wound melodies courtesy of Jo Meloche.
Tracks like opener "Jar Me Awake" and "Saint of the Coast" benefit from refreshingly simple song structures reminiscent of salt-of-the-earth early '90s acts like the Vulgar Boatmen or Caitlin Cary, giving extra weight to the album's grittier moments, like the hypnotic electric guitar and whirling piano outro of "Northumberland County" and the yearning harmonies of "Kinsey's Cabin."
Meloche takes a solo turn of the Celtic-tinged short-runner "Wishing Wells," perfectly sequenced in the middle of this 11-track/37-minute album, as the back half of the LP becomes moodier, but also more digestible, highlighted by the sparse and confessional "For Annie Tee" and the beautiful barefoot-tapper "Daffodil."
On Lonesome for the Colour Diane Motel are completely comfortable and capable of baring their souls, and they want you to hear every note and every moment. (Independent)