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Now Hear This: Billy Raffoul | International Hotel

I'm still getting caught up on all the good albums I missed last week. Like this one.

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriter Billy Raffoul has released his debut full-length album International Hotel. It was recorded with two microphones in Raffoul’s girlfriend’s room in his hometown of Leamington, Ont. The simplicity of that approach is perfectly suited to the rugged intimacy of Raffoul’s songwriting, and to the Americana-leaning sensibilities he brought to the making of International Hotel. Mainly co-produced by Raffoul and his longtime collaborator Justin Zuccato, International Hotel takes its title from a bar in Leamington — the very spot his musician father frequents after finishing up his own gigs. After opening on the title track (a loving tribute to Raffoul’s father and his lifelong devotion to rock ’n’ roll), the album offers up a dozen more songs rooted in his sharply observed storytelling. With those songs encompassing everything from treasured family history to clear-eyed social commentary to a heartrending ballad of a comic-book hero on The Ballad of James Howlett, International Hotel closes out with Massey Hall: an homage to the venue of Raffoul’s dreams, a Toronto theater where Neil Young recorded Live at Massey Hall 1971.”