Record Reviews

Bill Jr. Jr.: Homebody Review

Homebody by Bill Jr. Jr.

(Bush League) After moving to Montreal, singer-songwriter Russell Gendron sought to chronicle the feelings of home, memory and attachment associated with his previous city, Vancouver. Though clearly inspired by people and places of Canada, Homebody, his third album under the moniker Bill Jr. Jr., represents a cross-border connection to Athens. After meeting Gendron during a residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and a period of collaborating remotely, local guitarist Dan Nettles (Kenosha Kid) invited Gendron and Toronto bassist Daniel McNamara to travel down and record at Chase Park Transduction with Drew Vanderberg. To provide lush support around Gendron’s traditional folk style, Nettles then assembled a backing band of familiar faces: drummer Seth Hendershot (Kishi Bashi), keyboardist Jojo Glidewell (of Montreal), string players Serena Scibelli and Luca Lombardi, and backing vocalists Claire Campbell (Hope for Agoldensummer) and Ansley Stewart. Anchored by a lyrical focus, songs such as “Renaissance Man,” “City Limits” and “The Waves” collectively relate the experience of outgrowing places and growing into new ones, pushing through the humdrum only to burn out pursuing larger ambitions. Homebody closes with the thematically appropriate track “Run Home,” a breezy, bittersweet surrender.