EP Review: Deb Montgomery — All the Water

A moody, contemplative vibe is on display within the title track of Pacific Northwest folk rocker Deb Montgomery’s latest EP, All the Water. There’s a gothic storytelling feel to the song, and the instrumentation builds as the song unfolds. Starting out quietly and with sparse accompaniment, Montgomery builds the arrangement with more instruments, punctuated by a clattering, punchy percussion. And when things approach a crescendo, she wisely pulls back. The energy ebbs and flows, drawing the listener deep into the song.

“Dig for Diamonds” wisely changes up the instrumental mix, though those wonderfully insistent drums provide some continuity with the previous track. Montgomery’s clear, supple vocals are mixed righto ut front (as they should be) but the muscular instrumentation gives heft to the overall feel. A Neil-Young-simple, understated electric guitar is the icing on the cake.

The slower, loping “Wake Me” builds on the EP’s method of using the drums to emphasize the emotional content of the songs. “Hold On” is a slow burn, taking its sweet time to develop. But when it does, it’s a thing of beauty, with plenty of tasty, out-front lead guitar and yearning, deep-in-the-mix fiddle. The five-song release closes with Montgomery stripping away all of the instrumentation, leaving only her supple voice (exuding vulnerability) and a lone, quiet electric guitar. All the Water is brief yet varied, and enjoyable start to finish.