Published Jul 22, 2015From the first bass notes and "oohs" on the opening track, "Wildcats," what we've got here is an expertly crafted alt-country-pop album. Tracy McNeil (with her band, the Goodlife) delivers a punchy collection of original songs, well arranged, with just the right amount of that magic dust that gives pop music its sparkly brightness, but not enough to mask its country-rock sincerity. It's Stephen Stills meets Fleetwood Mac.
Originally from a small-town Ontario musical family, McNeil has called Melbourne, Australia home for years, and her strong, smooth alto voice is tinged with just a hint of Aussie accent. She's also picked up a fine supporting band that features great interplay between Luke Sinclair and Matt Green's guitars and finds Bree Hartley (drums) and Rod Boothroyd (bass) locking into sleek rhythm throughout. McNeil's lyrics ("Time's running like a cheap ballpoint pen") and vocals are bold and confident, and from the slow, dreamy watercolour intro on "Luxury Liner" to the parade-march rhythm on "Tooth To A String," her third album is a treat.
Released a year ago in Australia to critical acclaim, McNeil is finally letting Nobody Ever Leaves loose in Canada, and will be touring the record — solo — around her old southern Ontario stomping ground this summer. Catch her if you can. (Vitamin)