While I’d love to say I have a good excuse for this cd sitting on my computer desk unreviewed for the last four months, but the simple truth is that, like so many albums that I need to review, I just have not had time. This year has really wrecked havoc on my downtime and I still haven’t figured out how ninebullets.net fits into that, but fear not, good people, fit it in I shall and this post is supposed to be about Zoe Muth’s album and not a woe is me and my private life post, so let’s get down to it.
As I said, Starlight Hotel is an album that’s been on my “to review” list for months and every time I’ve played her on the radio I’ve received terrific feedback from the listeners, which only made me feel shittier about not having her on ninebullets yet. For a while I even considered trying to pawn this album off on RomeoSidVicious, since it’s more in his wheelhouse, but in the end I honestly loved the album too much and wanted to be the one who wrote about it.
Starlight Hotel sounds like it could have come out of some unknown town an hour or so outside of Austin, Texas, despite Zoe’s Seattle roots. Vocally, she sounds like a less nasally, Southern-drawled version version of Iris Dement, likely thanks to her Seattle roots. There was a time when I would not have believed that at least some portion of Zoe’s backing band, The Lost High Rollers, wasn’t from the South, but if the internet has taught me anything it’s that roots music is largely the same no matter where you happened to be born. There really isn’t anything about Starlight Hotel that feels contrived or disingenuous, which is more than I can say about a lot of the music coming out of the South these days. Starlight Hotel is one of those albums that you need if your first exposures to country music came from the static-y radio in the cab of your dad’s old pickup truck.
Not to mention, it’s Essential Listening.