REVIEW: Georgia Fair – “All Through Winter”

Georgia Fair - All Through Winter

It’s been a while coming for Jordan Wilson and Ben Riley – the duo also known as Georgia Fair. Their debut album – All Through Winter – is due for release on the 21st of October, and it’s fair to say there’s been a few people waiting on it. Touring with The Panics, the band have been showing off their new work recently, but how does it sound recorded?

Starting with the slow-burning “Times Fly”, the album kicks off with a strong start. “Blind” brings out intense, rolling drums, and “Where You Been?” is the perfect first single from the release.

Georgia Fair weave these beautiful vocal harmonies into folk music that goes beyond the whole cutesy idea of finger-picking some guitar chords. With lush strings and deep guitar, the songs sound mature and layered. It’s a much fuller sound, and it’s all the more interesting because of it. The best bit: the production is beautiful and sounds just as it should.

What it lacks for the most part, are stand out hooks. All Through Winter is rewarding when it has your attention, but rarely does the album grab it naturally. “Blind” and “Simple Man” both seem to take it up a notch, and so do a couple of others, but nothing really jumps out. Aside from that, too often do Wilson’s vocals feel under-stated. He has an amazing voice, and when really pushed out during some choruses, it explodes, sounding stronger than ever. Unfortunately, too often it feels restrained.

Maybe this album isn’t for me. When cherry-picking tracks for analysis, everything positive I’ve said stands – beautiful folk harmonies alongside a matured sense of song-writing – and it’s consistent in this sense too! But as an album, the release can’t sustain my interest. I feel I’d enjoy it more as an EP. Chances are, that’s more a reflection on my personal tastes.

Whether or not you listen to this as an album or not, if you dig great melodic folk music, you should have a listen. Georgia Fair have made leaps and bounds in many ways, and while I don’t think they’ve found their feet just yet, they’re getting pretty damn close.

TOUR: All Our Friends At Night 2011

Once again, All Our Friends At Night is returning to Canberra, bringing with it a small selection of Parklife artists! Which is very exciting, especially after the recent announcement that there will be no Parklife 2011 sideshows.

Check out the line up below. It looks like it’s going to be a pretty amazing night!

MSTRKRFT
Example
Wolfgang Gartner
Nero

Plus local acts:
Offtapia
Peking Duk
Cheese

8PM FRIDAY 23 SEPTEMBER 2011
UC REFECTORY, University of Canberra

Tickets on sale 9AM MONDAY 22 AUGUST 2011
18+ event
Tickets available from http://www.moshtix.com.au/​event.aspx?id=49336&ref=mo​shtix&skin
1st release: $69.95 (BF inc) 2nd release: $79.95 (BF inc)

FEATURE: The Postal Service

After releasing only one album in 2003, Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello, a.k.a The Postal Service, still have a large following of devoted fans listening to their music. It turns out that mixing electronica with Gibbard’s vocals isn’t a bad idea at all, which is shown through their dedicated fan base and "Give Up"’s overall positive reception. Tamborello’s electronic beats are well constructed and complex enough to differentiate the band from other artists of a similar nature, and they really add to the band’s sound.

The band began as a collaboration between the two artists when Gibbard did vocals for a song called "(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan" by Dntel (Dntel is the name Tamborello makes music under as a solo artist). The song was that well received that they decided to continue collaborating on material together. Tamborello would create the instrumental beats and music and then send the songs to Gibbard, who would edit the song and add his vocal lines before sending the songs back to Tamborello through the United States Postal Service. Hence the name of the duo.

Luckily, a couple of the best songs from "Give Up" are available legally and for free. Grab "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" here, and "Such Great Heights" from here. Both mp3’s are from the band’s website, if you’re wondering. Personally, I prefer "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" just because the layered vocal harmonies sound so amazing, but they’re both very good songs. If you don’t think you’ve heard "Such Great Heights" before, once you hear it you might recognise it. It’s been used in TV shows and a tonne of ads, and even a film trailer (for Garden State, if you’re wondering). Plus it is pretty popular.

You can download their cover of Phil Collins’ "Against All Odds" from here if you are so inclined. It’s a pretty good song too. The New York Post named it one of the best covers of all time. At first I was wondering where the hell it was going and why it was meant to be so great. Wait for it to really start and you’ll understand why it’s so good.

Over the years it’s become gradually more and more apparent that a follow up to "Give Up" is unlikely, with both musicians too busy with other work to find the time to get another album together. Gibbard has been reported as saying:

"It’s just not a priority for either of us. So the next Postal Service record may or may never happen.

Jimmy and I are still throwing ideas back and forth, but as time goes on, we find ourselves busy with our own music. We have some stuff, but it’s been difficult to find the time and the drive to do the record. I’d love to finish it at some point and maybe even do some performances. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be." – February 29, 2008 (via Spinner)

Shortly after, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Gibbard is quoted as saying that:

"There never really was a plan to do a second album. We work from time to time together but we have other things that take up all of our time." – December 11, 2008 (via Rolling Stone)

So although it isn’t a priority for The Postal Service to come out with anything new, which they may never do, at least the album they did create is an amazing one.