Technically, Oh Mercy are a band. But for the most part, Australian singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Alexander Gow is a one-man show in the studio. On terrific fourth full-length album “When We Talk About Love,” Gow wrote all of the tunes, played all of the instruments and handled all of the vocals on the 12-track, 42-minute release.
Gow dubbed the band Oh Mercy as a tribute to Bob Dylan’s 1989 album of the same name and they build on the strengths of their previous efforts (2009’s “Privileged Woes,” 2011’s “Great Barrier Grief” and 2012’s “Deep Heart”). The new platter finds Gow relying less on guitars in favor of layered synthesizers. Fortunately, his distinctive, slightly nasal vocals remain intact on this dynamite folk-tinged indie rock record.
The one-two opening punch of “Without You” and “I Don’t Really Want to Know” sets the tone, and Oh Mercy also hit all the right notes on keepers “Let Me Be Him,” “All Roads Lead to You,” “Can’t You Hear My Body (Calling Out to You)” and “Cool Water.” It’s high time you got to know Oh Mercy because Gow’s music deserves to be heard by as many people as possible. (Jeffrey Sisk)