You Be the Lightning

Tracy McNeil & The Goodlife

You Be the Lightning
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You Be the Lightning

Tracy McNeil & The Goodlife

You Be the Lightning is the fifth album for Melbourne-based Canadian expat Tracy McNeil, and her band The GoodLife and follows a successful Pozible album campaign.

Featuring the recent singles Catch You and Not Like A Brother, which was an instant hit with music directors at ABC Local, Double J & ABC Country, Tracy McNeil’s songwriting on this album is once more an impressive piece of work.

Within the broad strokes of Americana music, Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife have refined their own palette, expanding on their distinctive alt-country roots, culminating in a body of work that many believe is the band’s finest to date.

Lyrically, You Be the Lightning finds McNeil at her most uncompromising and raw. Weaving through themes of love - it’s death and rebirth, the quest for truth and finding the courage to follow your path. All 11 tracks strike immediately as a deeply personal, yet universally relatable series of affirmations; like a page stolen from a diary. Sonically, the album is equal parts grit and gloss, providing the perfect backdrop for songs exploring the dichotomy of the human condition.

Review

Tracy McNeil, a Canadian expat now well and truly ensconced in Melbourne, is back with her fifth album, You Be the Lightning. After releasing her previous four albums independently, she has signed on with the prestigious international label Cooking Vinyl. Her last album, Thieves, was one of the great albums of 2016 and an album I still listen to regularly at home.

This new album is co-produced by McNeil and her partner Dan Parsons, who also provides some very muscular lead guitar riffs. Like Thieves, which was steeped in Americana, McNeil has added some rockier elements, without giving up the country influences entirely. Her wonderful, strong voice remains front and centre, and her brilliant songwriting is once again to the fore. The single ‘Stars’ would not be out of place on a War on Drugs album with its great driving rhythm. The latest single, ‘Not Like a Brother’, is drenched in ’70s West Coast nostalgia. Fans of Lucinda Williams and Patty Griffin (now Cooking Vinyl label-mates) should definitely give this a listen. Highly recommended.


Dave Clarke is the music and DVD manager at Readings.

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