It’s been seven years since Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Matt Joe Gow released his first solo album The Messenger. He joined a band and suffered some health complaints that took him away from the industry for a while, but now he’s back with a collection of solo songs penned during his hiatus, appropriately called Seven Years.

Seven years is a long time for an album to gestate. The luxury of time has allowed Matt Joe to put together 12 beautiful songs. There are no filler tracks or numbers that don’t feel like they fit. This is quality work that is instantly accessible, with a great Americana feel that puts you right at ease. Think Ryan Adams meets Bruce Springsteen with an Aussie bent.

The first song and lead single “I’m Your Man,” charmed me, raising my anticipating for what was to come. The following song “Running on Time” is a great upbeat number which had me tapping my feet. It’s the ideal song for a Friday, making me think of raucous nights out in bars with great bands and beer flowing.

While Seven Years has its fair share of positivity, Matt Joe Gow has a knack for creating heartbreakers. “Bottle It Up, Pass It On,” is a stunning song about the end of a relationship where both parties still feel so much. The raw power of “Right By You” also packs an emotional punch. I love the poignant way the closing track “Bye” captures a moment.

Ordinarily when I’m listening to albums for review I comment on the handful of songs that really move me. As I listened to Seven Years I noticed I was taking notes about every song. That’s a testament to just how special this album is.

Seven Years will be released on October 20. He will play the following upcoming shows in Australia and New Zealand.

14 October 2016 – Rochester Hotel, Fitzroy (Ryan Adams Tribute Night)
15 October 2016 – Out On The Weekend Festival, Melbourne
20 October 2016 – Melbourne Festival, The Toff, Melbourne (supporting Grant Lee Phillips)
22 October 2016 – Melbourne Festival, The Toff, Melbourne (supporting Grant Lee Phillips)
5 November 2016 – The Spotted Mallard, Brunswick, Vic (Album launch)
18 November 2016 – Cromwell Gold n’ Notes Hoedown, Cromwell
19 November 2016 – Dog With Two Tails, Dunedin
20 November 2016 – The Starfish Cafe, Dunedin
1 December 2016 – Unicorn Hotel, Sydney
16 December 2016 – Ric’s Bar, Brisbane

Image used with permission from Matt Joe Gow