Release Date: Out Now
There have been a slew of impressive albums coming my way this year but this debut offering from 17 year old Georgia Fearn is certainly up there with the best of them. For one thing, to have created an entire album at the age of 17 suggests that either her parents banned social media or the Wi-Fi signal is poor in her native Carmarthenshire. However, the most impressive aspect of this LP is the sheer range, variety and boundless ideas that are thrown up on every song. Tempted to learn more? Then let’s dive in.
Opening with the simple folk melody of ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’, Fearn soon throws in the first curve ball by adding her soulful, powerful vocal to the accordion stabs and then what sounds like Tabla join in – eclectic doesn’t even come close. ‘Catch Me When You Can’ is up next and switches in to a place somewhere between Fleetwood Mac and a folk-rock stomper, yet again showing off the range of Fearn’s voice. On ‘Emptiness’ we are treated to a slower, piano based piece that is embellished with lush strings and a raw lyrical honesty that you tend to get from younger song writing, “I miss him like the stars miss the morning sky, I see the devil in his angel eyes” being a favourite line. So that’s three songs in and this would already make a killer EP but this album is letting up, no sir.
Recent single ‘L’amour’ has a gypsy-folk meets Gorillaz vibe about it that brings the fabulous Mae & the Midnight Orchestra to mind with its lilting sway, infectious beat and Fearn’s spoken word elements ringing through. ‘Master of Jazz’ is probably my least favourite track here, largely due to its trad arrangement but it’s still played with precision and style while ‘Misty Mae’ is a far more powerful indie-folk track with a story telling heart and the kind of energy you might expect to find in a soggy, fogged in country pub on a Friday night with a Ceilidh band playing in the corner. ‘No Need to Hide’ brings back the mix of folk and more contemporary style as Fearn uses a Reggae guitar rhythm, indie-pop keys and near-rapped phrases that leaving blindly searching for a pigeon hole.
It took me a few listens to get my head around the heady mix of influences on this album and Fearn’s tender age shouldn’t be a focus but it just makes this all the more impressive. Album title track, ‘Perfect on Paper’, is a great example as that rap flow drifts over the indie-folk instrumentation telling the classic story of young love-jealousy while the vocals shift from aggressive, assured and gritted teeth to the cracked vulnerability of someone who has had their heart battered and bruised. The emergence of ‘Sharp Objects’ shows just where this young lady could go next with elements of Kate Nash, Kate Tempest, She Makes War and a satisfyingly squelchy bass line adding force to another classic theme; small town frustration.
This debut album closes out with ‘You Wouldn’t Do This’ and we find Fearn in the most commercial form of the collection with breezy acoustic guitars and Samba inspired backing vocals but our heroine’s performance and lyric writing still bites hard from the get-go. I can’t recommend listening to this album enough if you’re looking for a new talent doing something original and fresh without the shackles of expectation, any kind of media machine or a sense of fear about the creative process. Watch out for Georgia Fearn in the end of year lists, I think this album is a good tip for an outside bet if it gets to the right ears in time.
More information: https://www.facebook.com/georgiafearnmusic/
31st August - Big Cwtch, Carmarthenshire