January Mind is the most recent release from Georgia Lee Johnson. She explains: “January Mind is a nine-song indie-folk album which explores themes of isolation, belonging, reckoning, broken and transformed relationships, and the yearning for a home within oneself and the natural world.”
Johnson worked with top tier talent on this release. It was engineered, produced and mixed by critically acclaimed singer/songwriter and producer Jordan Klassen and mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering (Arcade Fire, Basia Bulat). Suffice it to say the album sounds fantastic in terms of the recording quality and production.
Her music feels to me like it’s under the umbrella of folk. People have compared her music to artists like Adrianne Lenker, Steeleye Span and Joni Mitchell which makes sense. I would like to add other artists like Julie Bryne, folk legend Vashti Bunyan and Feist.
The album starts with the title track “January Mind” which is a certified highlight. It starts off a bit moody and pensive with earthy-based organ but quickly picks up energy when the bass and drums enter. The song is fairly funky all things considered but still roots based and has such a strong hook. Great opener.
“Seasons” is a dreamy and somewhat timeless sounding folk song. Her voice soars on this song and is backed by organic instrumentation. The brush work on the drums was a nice call and the lyrics are heartfelt and poetic. She continues to knock it out of the park with “Privilege” which is lush, a little dark and actually reminiscent of the band Beach House. There are some gorgeous vocal harmonies a little after the two-minute mark.
“Open Ocean” has a slight spaghetti western vibe between the guitar and percussion which I’m always a fan of. The hook blossoms with angelic harmonies and feels like I was in the middle of a majestic island.
“Numinous'' is a mostly a cappella song that felt like an interlude but still worked very well with the flow. “Annie and Me” is more of a classic ’70s type song. The percussion picks up the energy on “Birdsong.” “Who To Pray To” is a little darker and still a great song. Last up is the intimate and emotive “Like The Sun.”
This album is a hidden gem. Johnson hits it out of the park with this release creating a cohesive but varied experience. This is a release I encourage you to listen to and share. It deserves way more attention than it’s getting. Highly recommended
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