Georgia Ruth

Georgia Ruth – Fossil Scale (Navigator Records)

Earlier this year, I reviewed the excellent Sandy Denny compilation I’ve Always Kept A Unicorn. Within that critique, I mentioned that she remains more famous for the tragedy than the music, which was a tragedy in itself. A performer with such captivating command over her audience only comes along once in a blue moon, especially one with a voice as enchanting as Denny’s. Sadly this undeniable truth went right over people’s heads at the time, but wait! It would appear that there is now a chance of atonement! Look out of the window right now, for I do believe we have a blue moon! Let’s not just sit and watch as another major talent slips through our fingers, eh?

Now in her late twenties, Caernarfon’s Georgia Ruth has progressed from the harp infested waters of 2013’s impressive debut, Week of Pines, to an altogether more expansive landscape, given a platform by the Welsh singer’s quite sumptuous piano playing. She is helped along the way by an enviable potpourri of the leading luminaries in both modern day folk and avant-pop, so we get the exquisite Meilyr Jones contributing backing vocals on the quite wonderful quirky, jerky, jittery title track, as well as the reflective lament of ‘When I Was Blue‘, while Indian musician Suhail Yusuf Khan lends his virtuoso skills on native instrument the sarangi to proceedings. The overall effect is one of great warmth and the whole thing feels very rustic in places, like there is a great love of nature radiating from Ruth’s soul. It may be partly down to the choice of title, but you can easily imagine great waves crashing majestically on the shore on a perfect summer afternoon, filling everybody’s hearts with hope and optimism for the future.

Georgia Ruth is not just a “folk” singer though. There are ample clues to suggest that Kate Bush has frequented her turntable on numerous occasions, most notably on ‘Fossil Scale‘ itself, while the delightfully atmospheric ‘Cloudbroke‘ lies, musically, somewhere between Bjork, The Beloved and Everything But The Girl‘s hallowed nineties material.

Further down the line, ‘Good Milk‘ is one of those rare beasts – a love ballad, albeit a rather sorrowful one, and ostensibly a metaphor for a happy relationship “gone sour”, whose sense of melancholy serves to prevent things getting a little too saccharine. That’s impressive enough on its own, but two things are remarkable about Ruth’s second album – first of all, how beautifully she enunciates her Welsh roots when singing. There’s something succinctly authentic about her delivery and never feels forced. Secondly, on the more naked numbers, the sheer potency of the compositions is so strong that it’s easy to forget how few instruments are actually being used.

On this evidence, Georgia is destined to become a major star, and for many years to come. A very fine album indeed.

Fossil Scale is released on 7th October 2016 through Navigator Records.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.