Georgia Harmer: Stay in Touch (Arts & Crafts) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Georgia Harmer

Stay in Touch

Arts & Crafts

Apr 27, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Born to a musical family, 22-year-old Georgia Harmer has been immersed in music for as long as she can remember. “My dad would give me these little guitars that he would tune to an open chord so I could just strum and sing along,” she recalls. She started recording her own songs when she was just 10 years old, and as a teenager, she toured with fellow Canadian artist Alessia Cara as a backing vocalist. But when the time came time to make her own album, she knew she had to create it with like-minded people and so she dropped out of university, and soon began jamming with jazz students in Toronto. It seems to have worked out well for her because in doing so she met the very people who would help her craft her debut album, Stay in Touch, including Jasper Smith who engineered and co-produced the LP.

It’s an album that switches from poetic intimacy to windswept Americana with the occasional grungy undertones, as Harmer demonstrates an effortless way with words allied to a maturity and sophistication that at times puts you in mind of a young Laura Marling. However, whilst the stripped-back songs such as “Homes”—with starkly beautiful lyrics such as “All my windows are closed/To the snow-covered roads/But I’ll never feel alone/Your love is in the marrow of my bones”—are hugely impressive it’s the more fleshed out “full band” songs that really showcase what Harmer is capable of.

Highlights include tracks such as the urgent propulsive rush of “All In My Mind,” which Harmer refers to as her “gaslit anthem.” Despite ostensibly sounding like a paean to carefree summer days, its inspiration comes from a much darker place, as Harmer explains in the press notes: “I wrote it during a long period of emotional manipulation that made me question my own reality.”
“Austin”—on which Harmer wryly reflects, “On the road and playing just like you/I’ll bring you back some Texas BBQ”—was written at a point when she was on tour and feeling particularly homesick. However, she drew strength from recalling her father’s own experiences as a touring musician. Fittingly he plays lead guitar on the track, which he recorded in the family dining room. “Top Down” reveals Harmer’s lyrical skills once more as she exposes feelings of vulnerability with deftness and nuance.

Stay in Touch clearly demonstrates Harmer’s sophistication as a songwriter and musician and strikes the right balance between light and shade, or as Harmer rather more elegantly puts it: “It’s about finding the balance between holding on and letting go, between the beauty of the world and the pain in the world.” (www.georgiaharmer.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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