Billy Raffoul checks into the International Hotel with his latest full LP! Released on August 28, the Canadian singer/songwriter recorded the album in its entirety in his girlfriend’s room in Leamington, Ontario (his hometown). This is his second full-length album, having released his first in April. So… that’s the kind of artistic drive we’re dealing with here.
You can stream International Hotel here, but if you’d like to read our breakdown first, keep scrolling! He does come out of the gate on the first tracks filled with a lot of the harmonica. The album has interwoven themes of intimacy, longing, and… cowboys? Here’s what we got from Billy’s newest release:
He’s Definitely Been In Love
Against an energetic acoustic guitar glowing like sunshine, Billy’s raspy voice creaks like a well-worn kitchen chair. He establishes such a warm sense of familiarity within the listener. Recalling “the little things” he never much minded when they first happened, show us the most intimate perspectives of this love story with Rose.
Billy’s intimate, hushed vocals gently carry this song as he brushes his fingers over the guitar’s strings. Meanwhile, the lyrics offer a simple version of a very difficult feeling. He kindly mourns his hopeless condition of love for a girl that may never return. When we say this man has been in fully enamored before – we’re not kidding.
He’s Young, Yet So Reminiscent
It’s a sunset-porch kind of track. He’s only 26, but somehow he already has so much to remember. He sings as though his own vulnerable lyrics are too sensitive to touch. His falsetto voice draws the last rays of sun across his face, while the low, resounding finger-picking calls a deep blue to the darkening skies.
He’s Weaving Adventurous Western Tales
Ah, yes – who’s that on the horizon? Good ol’ James Howlett. Billy’s pulling out a song full of western wisdom (“There’s something to be said/About a quick death/No time to wonder why”), embodying this dusty town’s folksy crooner. Upon the release of the album, Billy released this live version of ‘The Ballad of James Howlett.’ The video’s a raw and authentic chance to watch his feet stomp, his fingers dance, and his vocals ring wild in the summer air.
What did you think of Billy’s new album? What are your immediate favorite tracks? Are there some that are growing on you? Let us know in the comment section below, or tweet us @thehoneypop! You can also find us on our other social media Facebook and Instagram!
Featured Image Source – ‘The Ballad of James Howlett (Live)’ – Billy Raffoul via YouTube