Colleen Dow (they/them) knows the value of collaboration. After all, their debut album with Thank You, I’m Sorry was named I’m Glad We’re Friends, an evergreen reference to the Minneapolis band’s tight-knit camaraderie and in-universe narratives. Inspired by similar alone-but-together experiments like The Postal Service and the electronic longing of Now, Now’s various incarnations, their solo work branches away from syrupy indie-punk towards the iridescence of pop and synth-drenched stardust. Dow’s internal critic continues to hold court.
Presented as a set of singles, Dow’s output runs the gamut. They offer up everything from bright and shimmering guitar pop (“Periwinkle”) to a case of city-spanning misery and confusion, complete with an 8-bit instrumental unraveling (“Yeah”). Long-time producer and engineer Abe Anderson returns to rein in Dow’s emotional appeals, such as the moment on “Sorry” where the arrangement reveals a lo-fi piano loop to help someone study/feel catharsis. Melodically experimental and exciting, Dow’s first solo run feels like a welcome second wind.