“There’s totally a bearded guy’s head in the picture right, on the vinyl? That isn’t just me?”
Released: February Genre: Indie-Rock / Emo Metacritic Rating: 91 CRM Rating: 9.5/10
Yes, it’s only at number 4, I’m a little surprised as well. In Home, Like NoPlace Is There The Hotelier released one of 2014’s most emotional releases, the songs here coming from a very personal place. It’s immensely cathartic, and incredibly affecting, packed full of pensive reflections and internal dissections as vocalist Christian Holden lays himself bare for an audience, the album focusing on the grieving and rebuilding process following a friends suicide. For forty minutes or so you’re sucked in, experiencing every little thing as well as music really allows you to, and The Hotelier capture so much here that the record is a vivid, visceral experience, forcing you to live through and share in this harrowing healing process. For me, Home, Like NoPlace Is There is a record about living and living through hardship, with an emphasis on living just enough to pull through. It’s tough at times, but it’s rewarding in every sense of the word, and I come out of it with perspective; it’s a release which always leaves me feeling a certain way and glad that I feel that way, because at least I’m ‘feeling’. It’s a comforting record with a strong emotional gravitational pull, it helps me to get some clarity, some focus on the world around me, and the fact that it does that so well across nine tracks is the records greatest achievements. Sure, it’s also catchy as hell, and it’s very well written, but it’s the quality to spark a genuine reaction in a listener which proves to be its main triumph.
I could talk about the songs, how Dendron chills me to the bone whilst filling me with a serene sort of hope, or how Your Deep Rest makes me sad in the best way, but I have to talk about the record collectively. It’s a stark and satisfying narrative playing out alongside an emphatic backing, and each aspect of the release comes together in a way which is nothing short of stunning. There’s very little, if anything, to fault here, and you’re probably wondering why it clocks in at number 4 after the love I’ve laid on it, and that’s a fair query. Home, Like NoPlace Is There is the second most emotional record I’ve heard in 2014 (see No.1) and it’s my fourth favourite, so I guess that’s my reasoning.