Grand Rapids, Michigan based singer/songwriter Downie Streahl has returned with her latest single, “Run Away With You”. It follows up on the success of earlier charting singles like “Now” and “Unavailable” with the same dynamic style that allows her to freely move between multiple genres without losing anything off her presentation. There’s a lot of reasons for her success. Streahl began singing for audiences as a young girl and her musical passion carried her through formal training in classical, pop, and jazz before making appearances in Las Vegas for talents as varied as Dennis Bono and Grammy award winning vocalist Crystal Gayle. Her talents have also earned her a reputation as a respect vocal and music teacher in both Japan and the United States. This latest song is a harbinger of what listeners can expect from her forthcoming fourth full length studio release and promises to elevate her already high profile even higher.
The musical arrangement opens with a clipped, bright guitar accompanying Streahl’s voice in the opening seconds. The band joins soon after this beguiling introduction and the rhythm section tailors itself around the guitar and her voice. There’s no darkness in this music – much like her vocal, every second of “Run Away with You” is cut to elevate the listener and bounces with a strongly celebratory feel. The song hits some nice, understated crescendos that, nonetheless, stand out enough from the surrounding verses that they constitute genuine sonic peaks in the song. The arrangement is quite focused as well – there’s no extra notes or words here capable of bogging down the performance as a whole. As far as standout instrumental performances go, the drumming is crucial here. The hi-hat and cymbal work from the rhythm section gives the song a lovely “splashy” feel that further accentuates its good time vibe without ever cheapening the overall quality.
Her vocal inhabits the higher end of the register but never sounds coy or premeditated. Instead, Streahl’s singing is genuinely ebullient and the playfulness coming from every line will please a wide cross section of people. She’s never overwrought, never pushes too hard against the arrangement, and instead shows great judgment by bringing her voice as close to the musical backing as she can. Her attentiveness as a singer remains one of her finest attributes at song’s end. She’s clearly someone who wants to sing with her fellow musicians rather laying her vocal overtop and compelling the musicians to follow.
The lyrical content will not be confused with high art and covers familiar territory for a pop song, namely celebrating the unreservedly joyful first pleasures of falling in love, but they speak to the listener with literate directness and never tries to bite off anymore than it can chew. Her target audience, and any new listener willing to give this a chance, will finish “Run Away with You” smiling from ear to ear and filled with the same light-footed positivity that fills the track. Downie Streahl has hit a new peak in her career with this delightful song.