Edmonton’s the Wheat Pool return with their sophomore release Hauntario. An album written over the last two years while touring and laying low, Hauntario is a gentle step away from the folk country sound that rounded out their first record and heads in a more indie rock direction. The music is pure Canadiana in content and sound and the influences are steeped in notes of Blue Rodeo and Wilco. With sweeping and impressive vocal arrangements, nice harmonies and crisp production, Hauntario is an impressive follow up that ought to merit full attention from first track to last.
The music goes back to basics with less reliance on studio wizardry and more focus on pure talent and good songwriting, which is refreshing. The album opens by setting a comfortable tone that is sure to draw in the listener, starting with the star track “This Is It,” a catchy little number that is effective in its storytelling and tastily fleshed out with backing piano, beefy guitar hooks and banks of horns. With obvious attention to detail, Hauntario plays like a love note to the country in which the band resides, yet not shamelessly so. Smart, dark and haunting, yet still carrying a hope of light at the end of a tunnel, the Wheat Pool have created a very good album that is sure to capture the ears of new and old fans alike.