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- The Wishes Of The Dead by Geoff Farina
8/10 Mike Staff review, 22 February 2012
You're almost certainly best familiar with Geoff Farina's work as frontman of indie-jazz mainstays Karate, who had a superb run of albums. I was expecting this record to be more of a showcase for his loungey jazzy guitar stylings, as that's the vibe I got from the last of his solo albums I heard, but actually it's more traditional-sounding fingerpicked folky singer-songwriter stuff, not a million miles from Elliott Smith or Damien Jurado, or John Samson's solo material. Actually there's even some of those understated Beatlesy harmonies that Smith was so adept at. Totally pleasant pastoral twinklings with much barely a sign of the overt, almost forceful sadness of his earlier work, opting instead for a restrained wistfulness. The more traditional songwriting approach really works here, though, and the guitar picking actually keeps bringing to mind Will Oldham, weirdly enough. Quite surprised at the lack of jazzy twiddling, but this smoky, meditative folk style he's adopting nowadays is unquestionably accomplished and impressive too. Might take a few listens to see if it sticks but on first impressions this is a consistent collection and an interesting progression for Farina.
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