Rae Spoon – My Prairie Home


This album is the score and soundtrack to a documentary musical film that is not yet released. It is about Rae Spoon’s growing up and surviving a difficult childhood. I have not seen the film and make no claim to any familiarity with the particulars of Spoon’s life, but this album tells a lot of the story.

There are a few rollicking, upbeat songs but most leave enough space for the stories and mood to be focal points. Those stories deserve the emphasis, as there is enough emotion in here to make a rubber duck feel. Spoon unloads song after stark song in relating a childhood fraught with identity confusion and lonely terror. “Amy Grant,” the very first track, sets the tone with jarring lyrics and sparse instrumental work. If it gets your attention, you will probably be hooked. “Cowboy” is an artful expression of the pain that always awaits an immature pretender, while “Snake in the Water” channels the fury of Spoon toward their “snake” father, who is held responsible for much of their pain. It would be a terribly sad album if not for, the closing song, “Can’t Tear It From Me,” which sounds like a celebration of a grandmother who helped Spoon learn to find home in love instead of a place, but I’m very reluctant to be so presumptuous when an accompanying film will shortly fill in a lot of the blanks.

Several tracks are atmospheric instrumentals or field recordings that will presumably serve as musical interludes during the film. There’s a new version of “Love is a Hunter” here too, if you’re into that kind of thing. I am not familiar enough with Spoon’s prior work to say if any more of these songs are old ones, but can say this set of tunes makes me wish I were. (Saved By Radio, raespoon.com) Daniel Emberg

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