by Tiana Feng
Release Date: August 13th, 2013
Label: Saved By Radio
Born in the prairies of rural Alberta, transgendered singer-songwriter Rae Spoon was brought up in an evangelical Christian household of an abusive father. In My Prairie Home, both a film collaborating with National Film Board and an album by the same name, Spoon opens up about their – yes this is the correct pronoun- past.
The whole album has a religious undertone. Opener “Amy Grant” asks, “Where was Jesus when we needed him? Where was Amy Grant? I thought she was his backup?” The choir-esque chant later answer its own questions with, “I like to think I found him just in time.” The influence of religion is both heard and felt. How can you not feel spiritually lifted while listening to songs like “Glacier Step” or “This Used to Be the Bottom of An Ocean”?
There are 19 tracks on My Prairie Home, but a bunch are short instrumentals that were probably used as soundtrack to the film. For example in “Moving Bus” we hear the welcoming message of a tour bus.
Spoon mentions the “devil coming to me” a couple of times (“Sunday Dress” , “God Was On Your Shoulders”). I’m not quite sure what she is referring to. Is she calling transgenderism a curse? Or was there a suicide attempt? However, the single, “I Will Be A Wall” stands up against hate, a person standing their ground in terms of who they are. “Love Is A Hunter” stories the uncontrollable feeling of love. “How Do You Run?” is a powerful tune about changing your identity until people accept who you are and “I Want” doesn’t care about right and wrong.
The album closes with “Can’t Tear It From Me” where Rae Spoon thanks a grandmother for guiding Spoon in the right direction and towards music. My Prairie Home is proof that this was the right direction, where Spoon shows great strength in taking uncomfortable topics and writing accessible pop music.