Posts Tagged ‘folk music’

Sydney folk duo Georgia Fair are just about to kick off yet another Australian tour and are also getting ready to release their debut album later in the year. I got a chance to have a chat with Ben Riley about recording the album and playing backgammon with tour-buddy Daniel Lee Kendall.

Your new single ‘Marianne’ features Lisa Mitchell and members of Boy and Bear on backing vocals – how did this collaboration come about?

We’d done a tour with Lisa and Boy & Bear mid last year which we all really enjoyed. So when we planned to record a new track for the Times Fly EP we thought it would be great to have Dave and Tim sing on it. So we recorded it with them one day and loved it. Then a few months later, Lisa was inSydneyand so we thought it would take the track to a new level if we could get her voice in the mix.

I hear you have a full length album coming out later this year – can you tell us a little about it?

Yeah it’s out soon and it’s our debut LP. We recorded it in Asheville, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia with an amazing guy named Bill Reynolds. We ate ribs, listened to Tom Petty and drew constant inspiration from the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville.

What has it been like preparing and recording an album as opposed to an EP?

It has been on another level for sure. It reveals more about us, allows us to unfurl our sails and tell a bigger story.

What have been your main influences (musical and non-musical) while writing for the album?

Writing never stops for us so I guess we draw inspiration from everything, day-to-day. So I’d say the way we interact with people and new experiences have been and will continue to be big influences. I was also listening to a lot ofCrosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

You’ve had some very awesome support slots over the last year or so – what have been the highlights?

That Lisa Mitchell tour last year was up there and the fact that it was the first time we’d gone all roundAustraliain one hit was definitely a highlight for us.

This will be the second time you’ve toured with Daniel Lee Kendall – there must be a pretty good touring chemistry between you guys?

Yeah we get along well and touring with him is a breeze. He’s a pretty good backgammon player so we had some fierce competitions last time which’ll no doubt continue this tour.

What can the uninitiated expect from a Georgia Fair show?

Lot’s of positive energy and love.

Nice to see a few Queensland dates on the upcoming tour! What is your favourite thing about playing in Brisbane?

Just the overall Valley experience is something to savour, you never know what’s gonna happen!

Have you ever considered extending the band to more than just a duo to fill out some of the sounds we hear on record?

Yeah we keep experimenting with different setups to keep it interesting and I’m sure we’ll eventually end up rocking it with a band more often, but we enjoy playing as a duo and will always make time at a gig to do so.

What has been the highlight of Georgia Fair’s career so far?

Recording our album in America with Bill was a life changing experience and something I’ll forever see as a turning point in our career.


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Pete Uhlenbruch, better known as Owls of the Swamp, has been showing off his folk stylings around the southern states for a little while now, steadily making a name for himself. Go with River is the sophomore album from Uhlenbruch after 2007’s Smoky Bay, and has a similar inception to that of Bon Iver’s debut. Uhlenbruch holed himself up in a little house in Inverloch for five weeks while he wrote and recorded most of the music on the album. The end product is a warm folk-pop offering that leans more towards the folk end of the spectrum than pop. It’s a sound that’s easily comparable to that of Iron and Wine or Bon Iver, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that they are similar.

Go with River heavily features a gently plucked guitar accompanied by Uhlenbruch’s melancholy voice, enhanced by gorgeous light layers and textures. ‘Tricks and Turns’ is the absolute highlight of the album though, with a catchy melody and bittersweet lyrics; one of the few songs that will instantly catch you. First single ‘So Far Away’ is of course a stand out track as well, and one of the poppier on the album. There are snippets of songs that could have potentially been greater than what they are, opener ‘43’ for example has a nice chord progression that doesn’t progress any further than a minute long instrumental and ‘Praying Mantis’ which is at 45 second scoundscape. The album as a whole is extremely cohesive and flows easily, but can seem quite simplistic or sparse at times. For the most part it isn’t immediately striking, but after a few listens the nuances begin to shine through.

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