Originally published with Bandcamp on June 30, 2016.
Canadian singer-songwriter Tracy McNeil has journeyed far from home the past eight years, settling eventually in Melbourne, Australia. Her accent reflects that shuffling: her voice is a blend of drawn-out Canadian vowels and traces of an Australian lilt, resulting in a curious sound all her own. Like her voice, McNeil’s roots-driven blend of rock and folk-pop also defies easy categorization. Thanks to her travels and her curious ear, McNeil’s songs are host to a multitude of musical and geographic influences, all of them grounded in a kind of rustic Americana.
Her fourth album, Thieves, nods to the Laurel Canyon sound—which is all the more striking given the distance that exists between Melbourne and southern California. In drawing on that tradition, she does what so many musicians have done before her, using it to clarify her own voice. Thieves is McNeil’s most mature and personal album to date; she wrote much of it after spending time with her father during the last three months of his life. The resulting music takes chances with longer songs that breathe both musically and lyrically, traversing terrain that explores spatial, temporal and emotional distances.
[Full article available at Bandcamp.]