New Zealand-born Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Matt Joe Gow released his first Americana/alt country album, The Messenger, in 2009, and followed it with Seven Years and Break, Rattle and Roll. All three albums were accomplished and acclaimed; most recently, Break, Rattle and Roll won the 2019 Music Victoria Award Best Country Album.
Joe Gow is a prolific songwriter who shows restraint in his releases, so the new single ‘Too Far to Go’ is his first release in two years. Featuring Melbourne duo The Weeping Willows – who also appeared on Break, Rattle and Roll – ‘Too Far to Go’ has the reassuring musical qualities of a lullaby, with a lulling rhythm, yet that’s a bit of sleight of hand, because lyrically the song is darker than a lullaby – it’s about words unsaid and things not done, and the price paid for both. In this way the music draws the listener into Joe Gow’s confidence, all the better for him to tell us his story.
The same restraint Joe Gow shows in releasing his material is also evident on this song: the instruments are stripped back, allowing for the strength of his voice and the vocals of The Weeping Willows, the addition of which make the song a cri de coeur, affecting and unsettling.