Devong Sproule has come a long way since the gentle finger picked wintery tunes of 'Upstate Songs'. 'Colours' is the latest edition of Ms. Sproule's fascinating journey through folk and Americana into a place that is purely her own. Without jettisoning an ounce of her songwriting talent, unique delivery, exceptional lyrics and melodic genius, she has produced (with Mike O'Neill) an LP of absolute perfection and poise. Building on the spacious soundscapes of 'I Love You Go Easy' she has moved herself into a position where she can blend the subtlest of shuffling funk rhythms with melting jazz chords, pop melodies of the highest order.
Anchoring all of this are her lyrics. Sometimes opaque, often dazzling and always original. Few writers lay themselves as bare as Devon without being explicit or overtly referential, she manages to write words that pull you in, often before the tunes do; that takes a special kind of ability.
Every track unfolds slowly, polished and studded with exquisite detail (the sparsely used backing vocals of Robin Dann on 'Talk To You' for example)
Mike O'Neill is an admirable foil, his dry, high tenor voice a perfect compliment to Devon Sproule's silky swooping. Between them they set up converstations and a combatitiveness (The Fire Inside) that prevents any sacharine dueting.
How much better is Sproule going to get? How much fun will it be finding out?