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Courtney Dowe – Accomplice review

Maryland-based singer/songwriter Courtney Dowe channels a steady stream of influences on her beautiful debut album, Accomplice. With her dynamic voice and an acoustic guitar to the fore across the album, it may seem hard for Dowe to distinguish herself with such ubiquitous tools. Yet, songs like “Dancer Blue” and “Might” really stand out and it makes for an affecting and uncliched album.

Opener “On The Rise” sets her stall out nicely, with just a guitar playing harmonics and Dowe’s powerful and heartfelt voice rising above it. “LEO” on the other hand is a full-band tune with a soft, bossa nova backing reminiscent of Bill Withers at his best. “Might” also keeps things stripped down yet retains a certain funky flavour from the band, with echoes of Ricki Lee Jones in the mix.

“If I Had Wings” is a truly beautiful and spiritual song, almost gospel at times and with only the faintest of backing from guitar and organ. “Yona” also captures that epic balladeering vibe as well, while the album ends as it starts, with just Dowe and a guitar on “Siddhi”. Mellow and chilled, but with a lot of soul and heart at the same time, Accomplice is a worthwhile debut that’ll reward listeners time and time again.

Review: Oliver Keens