Opening track "Ballad of The RAA" is decidedly the album's mission statement. "We invariably/left the prairies in my heart/since we never moved an inch," Edenloff sings in an endearing plea of a voice. Entirely acoustic without sacrificing power, The RAA create a strained emotionality that is tragic and haunting. This sense of sonic distress enhances the restlessness and longing that Edenloff explores in his lyrics. His powerful folk guitar blends with his simple, honest verses and Paul Banwatt's precise drumming to thoroughly capture "the ghosts of our town" that drift throughout the album.
"Edmonton" asks "What'll I do if you never want to come back/sitting in a city that is always on the attack?" And while the concept of any Canadian city being "on the attack" is laughable, I love the un-whiny earnestness in Edenloff's voice when he asks "What if I'm only satisfied when I'm at home?" In this song, and throughout Hometowns, there is an absent, lingering "you" that is most striking in the album's single, "Don't Haunt This Place." Amy Cole, who plays a ridiculous amount of instruments on the album—everything from a tambourine to a glockenspiel--adds her vocal harmony to the refrain, "because we need this oh so bad, because I need you oh so bad," making it even more (oh so) emotional. If you drink while listening to this album, you might want to throw your phone out the window. There's nothing more embarrassing than a nostalgia-fueled drunk dial, and if there's any album that will send your heart shattering back ten years, Hometowns is the one to do it. Pass the tissues, please.
LP / CD / MP3
LP / Deluxe LP / CD / MP3
LP / CD / MP3
7" / MP3