|Album Review: Jeremie Albino - Hard Time|
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When it comes to music depicting the slow life, strong country roots and old folklore usually prevail. Canada's Jeremie Albino, however, is here to prove that the slow life deserves more than just another slew of slow songs. On his debut album, Hard Time, he presents ten tracks full of soul, that old-time rock n' roll, and gritty vocals to remind us that slow or fast- there is passion to be found in all forms of life.
Having worked on farms in Prince Edward County for the past decade, Albino's path toward music has been largely driven by the organic sceneries around him, and the vast spaces that allowed him to find his stories. "I guess there's kind of an underlying theme for all these songs, they're all just stories I've come up with over the years, of other people, places and times," he explains. "There're one or two songs that are specifically about people or places in my life, but most of these songs are just little worlds I run away to when I'm writing."
While the farm life Albino has been accustomed to may be peaceful and quiet, his stories are teeming with boisterous energy and raw emotions. Tracks like "Trouble" and "Storm" boast of a contemporary Americana sound bolstered by powerful guitar melodies and lively vocals. Accents of a playful harmonica and Western-inspired keys pull these tracks together in a wild foot-tapping, hips-swaying rhythm.
Hard Time isn't just about escaping to other realities with simple characters and love-struck moments, though. Blended within this anthology of life's little stories are actual real-life memories. Albino discloses that "'Lilac Way' is about a road out in the county where there's just walls of lilacs lining both sides. It's just the most beautiful thing driving through with your windows down. It's one of my mom's favourite places so I wrote that song for her." Laden with a simple acoustic guitar and supporting strings, Albino's dynamic vocals ease this track into a soft, cushioned state of mind where the living is easy, no matter what season you're in. Alternatively, "Last Night", inspired by an old dancehall he used to frequent, whisks you away to a crowded room marked by bourbon and a good time. While the brisk piano keys lead you out to the dancefloor, the jaunty guitar twirls you around, leaving you eternally suspended in a smitten dance.
Influenced by everything from his window views to quiet family moments, Albino's debut truly tells a story of life itself. Noted by masterfully crafted ebbs and flows- euphoric anthems and acoustic melodies- Hard Time is a mosaic of nostalgic memories and wishful thoughts. Largely written while roaming around the farms he's become so familiar with, he acutely concludes that "home is where the heart is and maybe home is where the songs are."
You can catch Jeremie Albino on his Canadian and American tour this summer by purchasing tickets here.