Album Review: Ell Phillips – Call It Home

I’ve noticed that as I’m getting older my folk love has started to skew a bit more toward the country side of things. Not that I’ll be hitting a Kenny Chesney concert anytime soon, but I do have a much greater appreciation for folk country than before. This is why I couldn’t help but resist the simple folksy country sounds of Ell Phillips’ new album, Call It Home. The album was recorded around Phillips’ home, giving it a very intimate set of tracks that remind of one of my favorite bands, First Aid Kit.

Album opener, “Soldiers,” eases you into the album with simple acoustic guitars and Phillips’ vocals. It’s the album’s second track, “To Walk Away” that really pulls me in with calming guitar riffs and the quiet slide guitar that pops up in the background from time to time. It’s these simple arrangements that allow the listener to focus on Phillips’ vocals and personal lyrics. “I know I can’t keep you from all they have planned / Too many reasons to walk away and not make a stand,” she sings before the music swells one last time before fading out completely.

Phillips crafts a true classic sounding country track with the album’s title track. “Call It Home” is a wandering song about needed to get up and out when you’ve grown sick and tired or some place, a feeling I think most people can relate to at one point in their life. “I’ll return again soon I’d say / But I’ve been lost so long / Maybe this time I can stay / Maybe I can call it home,” Phillips sings with a slight twang to her voice. I think I especially enjoy Call It Home overall because Phillips vocals and musical style reminds me a lot of Patsy Cline and fills me with so much nostalgia even on a first listen through.

All throughout Call It Home Phillips shows that you don’t need a ton of bells and whistles to make your music stand out. The simple acoustic guitars with small embellishments here and there paired with her honest lyric writing and vocals make for an intimate, and for me, nostalgic listening experience.

You can pick up “Call It Home” over on CDBaby.