DownieStreahl’s career has taken her from Las Vegan to Japan, resulted in two well-received studio albums, appearances alongside vocal luminaries like Crystal Gayle, and continues its upward tick with her latest single “Run Away With You”. Streahl is well versed in a number of musical styles, but she tackles country pop with the same sophistication and finesse that defines her efforts in a number of modes. She’s also a more than capable songwriter who can take existing formulas and make them her own through the power of her voice and highly individualistic phrasing. Her last full length effort, I Would Love Myself In You, won an award from the Akademia Music Group for Best Acoustic Pop album and many of the same qualities that distinguished that and earlier efforts remain in full evidence on “Run Away With You”.
Her vocal defines the song. Downie sings with the unrestrained happiness embodying someone feeling the full flush of love from her first entrance all of the way until its final line. Her vocals, furthermore, show enough technical skill and talent to set her apart from many peers without ever sounding too ostentatious or over-reaching for effect. Instead, Streahl is one of those singers who gets inside of the material and simply allows the song’s experience to flow through her. In this respect, interpreting songs is quite akin to method acting – the performer channels their own story into the lyric narrative and it informs every bit of what they ultimately accomplish. Her voice falls in all of the right places without ever trying to clearly mimic the musical arrangement and the phrasing in this song makes the beautifully simple lyric into something much greater than it would ever be isolated on the page. The lyric for “Run Away with Me”, in lesser hands, might have sounded sophomoric, but not with Streahl. Instead, it sounds a spontaneous avowal of love from some swooning in its sway.
The arrangement foregoes excessive instrumentation in favor of a straight-ahead musical attack. Guitar, bass, and drums provide the entire accompaniment that Streahl needs and never attempt seizing the spotlight from her singing. Instead, the arrangement is clearly built to support what she does and the players establish a close connection that enables the song to sound less like a plotted, orchestrated work and, instead, bring it much close to the spontaneous proclamation of love that it clearly aims to be. They sound every bit as buoyant and full of life. “Run Away with Me” might seem like light fluff to some, at first listen, but added listens reveal this three minute plus track as being a subtle and sunlit work of great musical value that, thankfully, remains quite entertaining throughout its duration. DownieStreahl is one of the best singers and songwriters working along the margins of the modern music scene and her talent shines through in every line.
by Lydia Hillenburg