Colfax By The Delines – A Review

Read our review of the new album by The Delines ‘Colfax’


The Delines in Australia – Photo by Jim Jacob

From Portland, Oregon The Delines released their debut album Colfax in the USA in April 2014.  In Australia the album has been available since September through Warner Music Australia.

The Delines is Willy Vlautin, with Amy Boone of The Damnations (TX) and members of The Decemberists, Richmond Fontaine and The Minus 5 – Jenny Conlee-Drizos (keyboards), Tucker Jackson (pedal steel), Sean Oldham (drums) and Freddy Trujillo (bass).

“Calling In” is the opening track – it’s slow, meditative and disquieting.  There’s hypnotic pedal steel and light drum work, brushing and scratching.  The track establishes the vibe of the album early on – the beguiling voice of Moore, everyday lyrics, songs of insight and yearning –  ‘Darkness ain’t such a hard road if we don’t go down it alone.  Let’s never go back’.

“Colfax Avenue” tells of a lost little brother with tasteful guitar and keyboards closing it out.  “The Oil Rigs At Night” poignantly reveals an absent lover who’s lost his spark and who is about to be left behind – ‘to live without love is easier than lying day and night‘.

IMG_1116.JPG“I Won’t Slip Up” tells of work struggles, repeatedly pleading for a get-away from this life.  “Sandman’s Coming” (Randy Newman) is just vocals and piano – quietly persuading a child to sleep.  A key song is “State Line” which is about the inability to escape from your existence…forever stuck on the State Line while everyone else is blurring by’.  “Flight 31” continues the intensity…’I’ve been drowning for years, now I’ll just drown in your arms‘ – slow, deliberate and deep.  “82nd Street” has an infectious guitar riff with a pedal steel sound that’s so atmospheric and perfect.

The album released in Australia/New Zealand has two exclusive bonus tracks – “Walking Alone” and “Slim and Maggy”.  Unnaturally beautiful instrumentation again pervades the material and these bonus tracks are just that, not add ons.

Recorded at Flora Recording and Playback and produced with John Askew in Portland, Oregon, Colfax has modern and evocative storytelling with that wonderful voice and gripping arrangements where everything is accessible.

Colfax is a haunting, reflective master work.

Here’s the clip to “I Won’t Slip Up”.


Read our review of the new album by The Delines ‘Colfax’


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Author: Rob Dickens

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