All the Way Home
“What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker,” frowns Ken Beattie, the poor bastard, on “Gone To Stay,” a slowly drifting track included here, and you realize he’s not having the time of his life these days. Then again, you may stop and wonder, why not? After all, Vancouver’s Radiogram have everything going for them, their last album, Unbetween, was met with friendly nods and handshakes all over the world, and there’s no reason why this one’s not going to build and expand on that previous album’s success.
All the Way Home reaches far beyond the grand scale of Unbetween, seeking out even darker, more hauntingly beautiful alt.country worlds. Beattie sings with a subtle twang, sounding uncannily like the weary-eyed Gram Parsons from time to time, and especially so on the tracks where he’s joined by Carolyn Mark, who strongly resembles Emmylou Harris. His slacker vocals have a modest charm of their own, though, and he’s never even beginning to resemble anything like a copyist of the great ones. Instead, nudging himself into an unoccupied corner sitting between Parsons and Palace Brothers, he sings of doubt and shadow, disbelief and self-effacement.
Joined by his fantastic band and some very special guest musicians — including Jesse Zubot, who performs an eerie, captivating violin solo on “Can America” — Beattie has found a truly unique voice that’s nonetheless firmly rooted in traditional left-field country and folk music. And by the time it all comes together on the cinematic closing track “Not Here” — which may or may not be alt.country’s answer to slightly melancholic, epic stadium rock — you know this is something out of the ordinary, something of its own. A remarkable ride.
Endearing Records: http://www.endearing.com