While the tried-and-true pairing of soft vocals over inoffensive acoustic guitar strums will coax you into listening to Rainwater Youth, Corey Abell’s incorporation of unexpected musical elements and influences are what keep you listening.
Throughout the album, Abell’s voice fluctuates between genres with a self-conscious croon akin to Sondre Lerche or Kurt Vile, a confident country twang, and a pensive shoegazer. Exemplified by the album’s opener, “Kids First,” Abell’s voice shifts from an innocent warble to a powerfully assured and almost powerpop howl.
On their own, Abell’s voice and guitar are a powerfully pleasant combination on such tracks as the paired down yet catchy “Salene” and the quietly thoughtful “Re: Geography.” Some of the album’s highlights, however, break away from the typical folk sound. A standout, “Georgie, Where Are You Georgie?,” is a stirring country-blues duet that features the raw vocal stylings of Sabrina Robson, singer of local favourites this is THE SHOES. Another highlight is the album’s title track, which, through its expansive shoegaze-meets-folk sound, evokes the central theme of the album—the tension between responsibility and youthful recklessness.
The nostalgia that soaks through Abell’s Rainwater Youth feels as familiar as a rainy day in Vancouver. His collection of country blues and shoegaze-inspired folk songs are perfect for dodging puddles, pulling on a cable-knit sweater, and pouring too much Baileys into your coffee.