Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fraser A. Gorman - Slow Gum

Melbourne's Fraser Gorman possesses an aw shucks kind of charisma that makes it easy to like him.  He seems open, friendly and without pretense.  It appears he loves animals and his mother.  He also looks a bit like a young Dylan, whose work admittedly informs his own, but he is quite upfront and comfortable with the comparison.  By day, Fraser is a carpenter, and its seems that constructing things is in his blood, because his debut album,  Slow Gum, demonstrates that with a guitar, pen and a head full of melodies and images, he is a hell of a songwriter.

Gorman's style is country-inflected folk and folk rock, and as is typical with the best work in those genres, the core of his songs are engaging stories, entertainingly told.  My first exposure was via "Book of Love", which remains one of my favorites of the past few years (I've included the Soundcloud clip, which has a button for download, but the video as well because it is a great video), although "Never Gonna Hold You (Like I Do)" from Slow Gum is overtaking it fast.  I eagerly consumed his next singles, "Broken Hands" and the noisier "Shiny Gun", and awaited his album with great anticipation.  The ten-song collection has a warm, homey feel with unassuming but infectious melodies, clever earworms and an atmosphere that spans two continents and a couple of eras.  In addition to his home country artists such as Paul Kelly and friend and label boss Courtney Barnett, his work carries strains of Nashville Skyline and '60s-'70s California singer songwriters and would comfortably fit in the American section of your collection.  Gorman loves and is knowledgeable about country music, but he certainly isn't, or at least isn't solely, a country artist.  Both his songwriting sweet spot and his performance style lend themselves well to robust arrangements.

Our bottom line is that Fraser Gorman is a pop storyteller with a well stocked toolbox, and Slow Gum will make all your chill moments of the summer much, much better.

Milk! Records page for Fraser Gorman
Marathon Artists

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