Georgia Lee Johnson strolls through the Seasons of love in her gorgeously melancholy new single — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
Softly sincere and beautifully bittersweet, the track from the Canadian singer-songwriter’s upcoming album January Mind is a work of understated elegance and grace. A simple fingerpicked guitar line, a mellow bass and some lightly brushed drums gently are all that’s required to tastefully frame her radiantly glowing vocals as she shares nostalgic, heartfelt lyrics that ask the eternal question: Why does love have to be like this?
Such vivid, moving displays of magic and wonder are nothing new for Johnson. Her compelling, personal brand of mythic indie-folk enfolds an old soul with playfulness and creative freedom through a grand choice of sounds that ring out in presence and remembering. Clear and deep, her voice touches the painful and profound of our past and present. Influences of traditional music from Appalachia, Ireland and the African Diaspora filter with fresh instrumentation, sounds and arrangements, pulling urgent ancestral connections forward in a present, grooving, lush sound. Grown from burnished soil, ocean rain, mossy West Coast forests and winds that blow in from elsewhere, Johnson draws music and meaning out of time. Likened to Adrianne Lenker, Steeleye Span and the beloved Joni Mitchell, Georgia’s songs are wild and layered. Full of playfulness, she says what needs to be said once, in a way that can only be Georgia Lee. An honest and trustworthy new voice in indie folk, Georgia is this year’s fresh bet.
But she also has a wealth of experience to drawn upon for her work. After a three-year stint in Cork, Ireland mid-childhood, she relocated to New York in 2009 to pursue a BFA in Theatre at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Throughout her upbringing, she was equally passionate about all disciplines of performing arts and had the chance to exercise many different performing muscles by way of her education at Playwrights Horizons Theatre School. It was during this time that Georgia became immersed in the New York City jazz scene. College friendships facilitated a process of osmosis in which Georgia sponged in many musical influences, while simultaneously developing her craft as a body-based performer and storyteller.
In 2011, one of these college friendships led to her role as the line producer of a full-length music documentary called The Sea In Between. The film, which involved 12 live-recorded music videos, was shot on Mayne Island, British Columbia, a location where Georgia spent most of her summers growing up. Her involvement awoke a desire to work more closely with music, and especially sparked a need to write her own songs. Her artistic community in New York continued to inspire and encourage her to take steps to begin writing songs, which ended up going hand-in-hand with her relocation back to the West Coast. At this point, while still having sporadic involvements in theatre work, she began to dedicate herself more deeply to songwriting.
Drawing on her training in experimental performance, Georgia aims to use song as a format for storytelling, mixing rich imagery with lush harmonics. She pulls inspiration from the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest for the bulk of her poetic imagery; the themes of her songs range from grief, to delight, transformation, and reverence. In October, 2018, she released her first full-length album Wanderling, recorded in Vancouver and produced by Jordan Klassen, who also produced and mixed Seasons. The song also features her bandmates Wynston Minckler on upright bass and Jason Winikoff on drums. It was mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering