One of the biggest problems about growing up that no one talks about is the disassociation and reclamation of home. Growing up, we can never stop thinking about getting out on our own, finding our own place, making a name for ourselves by ourselves. But then comes the problem with finding a new home, setting up, making friends, and doing everything we can to keep our heads up above water. Rae Fitzgerald knows the same struggle all too well. Moving from Muscle Shoals, Alabama to Bakersfield, California and subsequently to Austin, Texas, Fitzgerald could not find a home of her own until settling in Columbia, Missouri. But Fitzgerald knows that quest to find home is not an easy one, as she illustrates on her debut album, Popular Songs for Wholesome Families. For a debut of somber, evocative folk-style indie rock, the music of Rae Fitzgerald only becomes more intimate and revealing in a live setting, as seen in her recent Daytrotter performance.
“Home is where I wanna go, but home is just a dream, I know,” she croons on “Lost in Ukrainian Village.” Fitzgerald assumes the role of vagabond well, lowly and humble but all the more resilient for it. On Popular Songs for Wholesome Families, the song is much more quiet, perhaps even a bit more broken. But her downtrodden moans turn into homesick wails as country-tinged blues swell around her. Without a home to direct herself to, Fitzgerald makes the most of her sense of being lost, exemplifying it throughout her setlist. While lost at times, Rae Fitzgerald seems to be looking for home in her self. Thankfully, she never lost herself in the first place.