Published Mar 11, 2014Eamon McGrath's Exile is an album being released serially, a few songs at a time, until the pieces form a full LP. Exile: Part Two adds three more songs to the mix: moody rocker "Canadian Shield," the loud and grungy "Paper Boats" and the pristine, acoustic "Running From the Cops."
McGrath is a prolific songwriter, the kind of guy who writes five songs before breakfast. This is a testament to his deep talent, but it has also stood in the way of him churning out one top-notch, definitive album. One of his best LPs to date, 2009's 13 Songs of Whiskey and Light, was a collection of tracks culled from 18 home-recorded albums. By releasing Exile in small pieces, he has slowed things down, spending more time on individual songs and giving listeners the chance to relax and soak in his music. It's a change that works.
Behind McGrath's growling vocals on "Canadian Shield" and "Paper Boats" are nuanced and powerful stories about small-town isolation, long drives and frustrated youth. Taken as a whole, Exile might get too noisy and overpower its more subtle elements. McGrath is one of the finest young poets of the middle-Canadian condition, and Exile: Part Two gives him the breathing room to show it. (Aporia)