Review Summary: Grief
In a lot of ways, The Hotelier's Home, Like NoPlace Is There
hits the same resonant experiences in my life that made me gravitate to Superchunk's I Hate Music
last year. For me personally, many of those notes still ring loudly; a friend committing suicide, another two being murdered, and one finally succumbing to a decade long fight with cancer. These are the kind of events that shake you in your mid-20's. For 26 years I thought I was invincible, but that was an illusion. It's a rather shattering realization. The only other experience I had with death was burying my grandfather a few years prior and it's not the same kind of loss. It stung in a different way. He lived a full life and died with his loved ones at his side. That's a lot different than having your body eat you alive in your 30's or to be found decomposing in an irrigation ditch at 19.
It's that kind of grieving that is at the heart of Home, Like NoPlace Is There
. The record is a haunting recollection of a suicide and the rebuilding process that is birthed out of working through that loss. It's months and sometimes years of second guessing your entire relationship with a person, looking for clues, and being paralyzed by the weight of all that circumstance. That being said, what has drawn me to the album – and so much so that it has been on near constant repeat for the last few months – is that it's not the kind of record that wallows in that sadness. It is all about being strong. It reaches out and tries to help make sense of it all. It's a comforting empathy. The stories are intensely personal but are so easily transferable beyond their original inspiration. It's Death of the Author
theory on a musical scale. Home, Like NoPlace Is There
begs to be adapted to its listener's own fears and struggles, regardless of if it's grief, isolation, identity or even something a bit more abstract. It's a helping hand when you need it most – and that's the strongest compliment I could ever possibly give a record.