Welcome one and all to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. It’s a lovely couple of cities built in the agricultural land of the Midwest. We’re proud to be here. This is home to us and this is what home sounds like. Rustic and indie, Ms Heaton’s third release for Parasol combines the rural affectations that permeate the area with the sound that she helped define just about a decade ago that allowed our music scene to grow and blossom. Prime examples are the opener, “It’s Easier When You’re Here”, and the title track. The former being a gentle guitar tune that gets really lush in the chorus and the latter rocking it up and taking you back to better times. Elsewhere, “Olivia Smiles” gets kinda Ronettes in its ‘60’s style production and Matthew Sweet in the chorus. And “Teach Me” lyrically sums up the sentiment of the record with a nice guitar lick running throughout.
The one setback is that it lags in the middle as the more ballad-y songs are strung together, lovely but consecutive. But that’s easily remedied by shuffling it up.
The clincher to this deal is the Cheap Trick cover, “Downed”, at the end. That’ll win my heart anytime. Now I just don’t hope we have to wait another six years for the next one.