Georgia Fair’s debut LP, All Through Winter sounds like they’ve returned to their “spiritual home” in the United States. The music offered by the Sydney folk duo sounds similar to the infamous West Coast sound synonymous with the likes of artists such as: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Just simply disregard the fact that recording in North Carolina was their first visit to the US and was even the first time these beach-loving boys had seen snow.
The story goes that the guys spoke to Bill Reynolds from Band Of Horses and the three bonded over a mutual love of Dylan. Reynolds invited the boys to make a record but more importantly, come keep him company and eat ribs in the mountains. The trio joked that they’d call the LP, Ribs and Reverb because they were devouring the former and putting the latter – like sauce – on everything. At least you can say there is meat on these song bones, as the pair tackles meaningful topics like love, nostalgia and loss.
All Through Winter flows on from the Times Fly EP and includes the latter title track as the opening song. It proves a chilled-out ode to the passing of time. “Blind” meanwhile, is a piano ballad by a tormented man pining for his love.
Dinosaur Jr. have also asked us, Where You Been? but on Georgia Fair’s track of the same name they offer a Jack Johnson-inspired beach ballad with an added shuffle. “Float Away” lulls listeners into a dream-like state and like much of the music on this record, is relaxed and gentle. It also sums up the entire effort really well with the lyrics: “I will float away/back to the old days”.
The vocals and harmonies are particularly noteworthy on this release. At times they are quite soft, melodic and breathy, like a cross between Alexander Gow’s from Oh Mercy and Toby Martin’s from Youth Group. At times a muted delivery, it means they can come across sounding organic and nuanced and brimming with a sense of yearning. As Benjamin Riley said: “This record feels like our first true, honest offering” and it is certainly evident in their delivery.
But the album is not just about spiritual quiet. “Remember Me” is a pop romp sharing a hint of flavour with Bob Evans’ “Friend”. Penultimate track, “Morning Light” sounds like The Beatles’ “Two Of Us” crossed with a country hoedown. Of course, the gold is to be found in the introspective moments because Riley and his bandmate, Jordan Wilson make music that is like the signposts to the whole gamut of human emotion.
Georgia Fair may be a duo of two twenty-something guys wearing vintage clothes and using equally old gear but they’ve created something that suggests a maturity far beyond their actual ages. With eleven well-crafted song tapestries, they often sound like they’ve lived years in a single day. So we’re glad they’re here to tell their tales around the campfire, with acoustic guitar in hand and heart on sleeve.
Originally published on 23 November 2011 at the following website: http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/reviews/music/30858/Georgia-Fair–All-Through-Winter
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