100 Mile House Hollow Ponds

On their second album, Edmonton, AB's 100 Mile House spin out a dozen roots-y tunes rich in instrumentation and lyrical depth. Songs that contemplate home and the longing for lend a melancholy tone to much of the album. But energetic, countrified numbers like "Edward IV" and "Because You're Mine" add variety to the mix. Fronted by husband and wife Peter Stone and Denise MacKay, the band bring in cello, mandolin and banjo, as well as relying heavily on Scott Zubot's adept violin throughout ― most strikingly in instrumental track "Sigh." Small touches are what set Hollow Pond apart ― details like the wheeze of organ that opens the first track and the low hum of choral vocals that supplement Stone's British-accented singing. Warm, pretty and finely crafted, this is a fine sophomore album from a skilled set of musicians and songwriters. (Independent)