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Album Review: All the Water | Deb Montgomery

A 20-year veteran of the rock music industry, Seattle singer-songwriter Deb Montgomery has left a career high benchmark on 2018 with the release of her five-track EP All The Water. Sparse arrangements of delicate guitar wash over the listener like waves on a shoreline, while Montgomery’s intimate voice and soulful, reflective lyrics provide a life-affirming foundation. Drums, bass guitar, strings, and keyboards all make appearances and lend muscle and energy, creating arrangements that simultaneously feel immense and powerful while still maintaining the intimacy and vulnerability of Montgomery’s songwriting.

“Trade in the noise for your feet on the ground,” Montgomery sings on “Dig For Diamonds,” hinting at the geography and headspace which inspired her to pen these five songs along the scenic coast of Oregon. “It’s okay to be lost, so you can be found,” an uplifting chorus reflects Oregons grandiose cliffs, lookouts, steep turns, lush scenery and how it makes one’s interior problems feel so small in comparison.

Montgomery acknowledges the impermanent world around her on “Wake Me,” singing “Falling, it’s the way of things.” She explores universally human faults and fears with a beautifully simple melody and chord progression.

For the fourth track “Hold On,” Montgomery dives deep into the ocean of her spirit and unearths unsettling emotions that reside in all of us. In the latter half of the track, she pleas the listener “You’ve gotta hold onto your love,” over the most powerful, bold and immense instrumentation on the EP. As the track ends, the resulting feeling resembles a spiritual cleansing.

Closing-track “Mend” is a gentle, psychedelic come-down to the EP, showcasing lovely, intimate finger-picked electric guitar with Montgomery’s lyrics focusing on personal growth and healing, amplifying the feelings that run throughout the entirety of the EP.

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