- Tom H
Iris Marlowe | Where the Devil Bid the Owl Goodbye (new album)
Chicago-based country/folk singer-songwriter Iris Marlowe embarks on a musical journey into the land of outlaw country and spaghetti westerns in her cinematic new album, Where the Devil Bid the Owl Goodbye.
Originally from a small farm town, Iris developed her taste in music by listening to Fleetwood Mac, The Beach Boys, and Nancy Sinatra. These sounds stayed with her throughout her songwriting career. Iris' experiences and journey as a songwriter eventually came together in the form of her 2019 debut album, Savannah - a blend of dreamy, nostalgic, and acoustic songs. On her 2020 sophomore album, Winter Solace, Iris experimented with rock, folk, and country sounds.
On the ten tracks that span Where the Devil Bid the Owl Goodbye, the listener is immersed in stories of love, loss, and "the devil that devours cowboys souls" - songs that reinforce the overarching theme of the album, which Iris describes as "an homage to classic storytelling in country western music with a modern twist." The atmosphere throughout is fresh, electric and will immediately resonate with fans of alt/outlaw country and spaghetti western artists like Ennio Morricone, Nora Orlandi, Tarnation, Giant Sand, and Holy Motors, to name a few.
The musical vibe of Where the Devil Bid the Owl Goodbye is established at the outset as uneasy acoustic guitar notes gradually transition to banjo and eerie, twangy guitar in the opening and title track, as Iris enters with the first lyrics "You dream of a place where you can go. Where the devil bid the owl goodbye."
Several singles have already been released from Where the Devil Bid the Owl Goodbye. The delicate and reflective "Home" features somber strings, acoustic guitar and piano as Iris sings "You can drive me through the fires | but I'm never coming home," a song she says is "inspired by the emotions that come with moving on from where you grew up and the acceptance that comes from time and distance."
Think deserts, dusty roads and tumbleweeds as most recent single "Shed Your Skin" transitions into a full-on rock/outlaw country banger that Iris says is "inspired by cutting ties with toxic people to become your full potential...This song and the album are inspired by spaghetti westerns, classic country music, and the television show Twin Peaks."
The stripped down, minimalistic acoustic tracks on Where the Devil Bid the Owl Goodbye are sequenced in all the right spots and are not to be missed. The endearing "Cowboy Chords" features acoustic guitar, banjo, harmonica with Iris' emotive, heartwarming vocals that weave in lyrical elements of long-lost love and heartbreak.
Aside from the singles that preceded the album's release, there are other standout gems throughout Where the Devil Bid the Owl Goodbye, including the delicate and gorgeous "Old Tricks" that simply features fingerstyle acoustic guitar and Iris' sentimental, melodic vocals.
The cinematic vibe of the album is complemented with music videos for several of the singles, along with a short feature film for the the title track of Where the Devil Bid the Owl Goodbye and its successor, "Stop Me Now," both shot and edited by Dominick Sandri.
For more information about Iris Marlowe, visit her official website, follow her on social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) and find her music on Spotify, SoundCloud and Apple Music.