[13 November 2011]
There is a lot to like about the purity of Michelle Willis’ voice on this full-length debut from Canadian trio Three Metre Day. Her beautifully understated vocal presence keeps Coasting Notes from coasting into mediocrity. It exudes the same type of vibe as early Norah Jones, but with less melodic sense and more guitars.
This is an album to calm the heart-rate and set the mood. The simple arrangements are pleasant, intricate and rootsy. Given the quality of the musicians, the listener may wish for less understatement at times, but it does achieve a certain trance-like effect that exhibits the virtues of quality wallflower music. The tracks “I’m Like an Oak” and “Reputation Girl” are about as punchy as Coasting Notes gets. But this album is about the effective use of color. It is refreshingly simple and slow. The effective creeping of a pump organ sounds soft and clear on songs like “Important Stories”, “The Crown”, and “This Day is Getting Old”. The aura it creates makes for a great after-dinner treat on a lazy Sunday night.