Gemini George presents listeners with a classically soothing, organic sound – his acoustic guitar playing has a certain softness from the offset, inviting a wider audience along for the journey, and his voice soon afterwards follows suit beautifully.
Full Foolish Moon plays out for almost five minutes – an unusual song length for something of a folk-pop aura. Instead of growing tiresome during this time though, the opposite effect takes place – this chord progression, the gradual increasing warmth of the instrumentation, the higher notes resolving with the lower ones, the mellow groove – all of this draws you in more and more so as it emerges. You grow accustomed to the various sections of the song – the simple verses, the lighter, higher, more passionate hook (though subtle in being so) – and there’s an increasingly satisfying development and movement to it all that’s a pleasure to escape among.
There’s a certain hypnotic quality to the song, it’s delicacy is easy to have surround you, and that ongoing guitar picking is quick to capture your affection. You can hear the live sound, so it feels very real and very human, but there’s also a valuable production quality to the release that lets the music be that simple, reliable ambiance we turn to whenever life gets a little noisy. And in this case, with each new listen, the familiarity allows your attention to be drawn to the lyrics, the intricacies, the subtle but certain details that give this song and this artist a sense of identity.
Full Foolish Moon is a thing of simple beauty, humble and honest, expressive and calming to have fill the room around you. Gemini George has a way with songwriting and this spans throughout his music.
Pretty Yell is a song that takes a totally different musical approach though still drives with that now familiar style of writing and expression. Stylistically, everything’s different here – the song has an indie-rock aura, a faster pace, a thickness, and George’s leading voice has so much more volume and outward passion. Conceptually too, this feels like a different thought process has lead to it – the vibes that pour through are classically rock and roll in some ways, reminding me wonderfully of the nineties alternative rock bands that used to roam the airwaves. The freedom and the vibrancy hits with impact, particularly in contrast with Full Foolish Moon.
In addition to these recent releases, a third song – 6 26 – sees Gemini George venture down a captivating road of story-telling, scene setting, in among an Americana-soaked, classically Western feeling soundscape. There’s something addictively stylish about this one, everything falls into place – George’s voice finds its own unique pathway among the music, finding its greatest strengths in the process. The lyrics leave you hanging eagerly on each line, and the rhythm, the set-up, the passion and the sheer swing of the whole track leaves you genuinely craving a live show.
A full band show would be superb. Everything down to the instrumental break towards the end just works here, the song has precisely what the all-night festival crowds tend to seek out – the raw energy of a Gypsy jazz or folk rock band. The style and the organic swagger works brilliantly and makes this a definite personal favourite of the three releases.
It’s a pleasure to stumble upon an eclectic, organic songwriter with such a clear passion for music in all of its forms. I look forward to hearing where his music takes him next.