Richmond Fontaine - Moving Back Home

Criminally underappreciated (at least in the U.S.) Portland based roots-rockers Richmond Fontaine released one of 2005’s best records in The Fitzgerald. Lead singer/songwriter Willy Vlautin wrote the songs over the course of a month spent in the Reno hotel that named the album, inspired by the despondent people he met there and the stories they shared. Bleak and quiet, the album stands in stark contrast to the “Husker-country” of earlier efforts. The songs are skeletal, and focus mostly on Vlautin’s voice and lyrics, with as little musical accompaniment as possible. It’s their Nebraska, rich with detail and despair that reflect the hard times people face.

2007 sees the band ready to return to its more band-oriented roots. They are set to release Thirteen Cities in the U.S. on May 8th. It was produced by JD Foster, and also received musical assistance from Paul Brainard, Ralph Huntley and Jill Coykendall, as well as members of Calexico, Giant Sand, and Luca. It is their 7th studio release. Early songs indicate a propensity towards the poignant Americana on which they cut their teeth.

Lead single “Moving Back Home #2” kicks in with some previously unheard Mariachi horns, and a beat reminiscent of the Old 97’s circa Too Far To Care. Vlautin’s vocals, part Jay Farrar, part Matthew Ryan, are not as prominent on this song as on The Fitzgerald. The band is kicking up dust though, and Vlautin is “down before I even begin” and “trying to find the sun, coming up somewhere”. Willy possesses one of those voices that bleeds honesty, and may not even know the meaning of irony.

MP3 - Moving Back Home #2

And watch the video for the song “Capsized”, also from Thirteen Cities.

Visit the Richmond Fontaine website to see other videos and hear more mp3s.

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