Published Aug 22, 2013It's not quite fitting to call Montreal-based artist Rae Spoon's latest release a "follow- up" to 2012's electro-pop effort, I Can't Keep All of Our Secrets. In addition to having only a touch of resemblance to last year's synth-folk vibes, My Prairie Home was written well before I Can't Keep All Of Our Secrets hit shelves and was inspired by more years than just those between the two albums.
"We'd been working on the documentary [also called My Prairie Home] for three or four years," Spoon explains in a recent Exclaim! interview. "I even wrote My Prairie Home before my last album I Can't Keep All of Our Secrets came out because we were filming the whole time. I just spent the last few years revisiting growing up."
My Prairie Home features the score and soundtrack to the documentary, which Spoon says influenced the inclusion of expansive, swelling instrumental elements across its 19 tracks, including a reinvented version of "Love Is a Hunter."
"I tried to use a lot of strings, like cellos and things you'd see in films, like more of a cinematic arrangement," says Spoon. "The director of the documentary [Chelsea McMullan] loves 'Love Is a Hunter,' and wanted it in the film, so we brought it back and redid it. It's one of the main themes in the film. There's this big music video around it, which is epic and involves me running through the forest in hunting gear. It's kinda cool."
Themes on My Prairie Home are often translated through personally revealing stories about coming out as queer and growing up in an evangelical Christian family in Alberta.
"I guess I have a bit of distance from it," says Spoon, "I graduated from high school like, 15 years ago? And part of the distance is in that I live in Montreal now. I was trying to capture the stories in songs, and I have very vivid memories of what it's like to come out without any support, before a time when there weren't any GSAs or anything like that.
"I'm involved with youth in Alberta, and I think those issues stay close to me even though I'm not a youth anymore. I realized that my experience would probably still apply to a lot of situations, even though it was a while ago."
To return to those experiences through music, Spoon loosened the artist's grip on the electronic direction of their past few albums.
"I was doing a lot of electronic music before and then writing the album about growing up in Alberta, but a lot of it didn't really seem to apply. I wanted to go back to my earlier influences to write the musical about growing up in the Prairies.
There are electronic elements in the way the sounds are processed, but I wanted to keep the sounds close to what I grew up around, to revisit the music and the content."
Spoon's My Prairie Home is out now on Saved by Radio. Find Spoon's forthcoming Canadian tour dates below.
09/18 Toronto, ON - The Gladstone
09/19 Ottawa, ON - Black Sheep Inn
09/20 Peterborough, ON - The Spill
09/21 Sudbury, ON - TBA
09/22 Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa
09/27 Fredericton, NB - Gallery Connexion
09/28 Halifax, NS - The Company House
10/10 Calgary, AB - Festival Hall
10/11 Lethbridge, AB - The Acoustic Owl
10/12-13 Edmonton, AB - Up+Downtown Festival
10/19 Victoria, BC - The Copper Owl
10/23 Vancouver, BC - TBA
11/23 Winnipeg, MB - The Windsor