by Olivier La Roche
The niece of well-known Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer, Georgia Harmer brings a similar brand of mellow indie-folk to her aunt’s style on Stay In Touch. Mixed in with this influence is a strong indie-rock sound that brings a quite entrancing facet to the album, showcasing Georgia’s talents as a vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter all at once.
Backed by a band of jazz student friends, Harmer paints each song into a fleeting, emotionally charged picture with the lyrical richness and instrumental depth you’d expect from such a combination of musicians. Sweetly intricate instrumental passages, soaring pop-rock melodies, and heartfelt, vulnerable vocal performances are scattered across the record to create a sublime package of indie musicianship and songwriting. It is quite a debut full-length project for Harmer.
The Toronto-based singer of only twenty-two kicks off the record with the intimate “Talamanca,” a delicate showcase of her vocal sensibilities paired with a graceful guitar, creating a warm and welcoming opening to the album. Immediately after comes “Headrush,” pulling you out of the dream world introduced by the opener with its determined drums and fuller sound. Rather than being jarring, this transition simply outlines the versatility of Harmer’s sound, raising the stakes for the rest of the record.
This alternating pattern of softer and more energetic songs continues for the next few tracks, giving the album a captivating atmosphere that just keeps dragging you in with every slight shift. Harmer’s vocals and guitar continue to shine on the track “All In My Mind,” a power-pop anthem that injects a jolt of life right near the middle of the album.
Later in the tracklist, the folkier sounds start to mingle with the driving indie-rock of other tunes, like on the songs “Homes” and “Top Down.” It’s here that Harmer shines brightest, laying gorgeous vocal melodies and sunny riffs over the entrancing drums of her backing band on “Homes” and building an ethereal swell during the length of “Top Down,” culminating in a grandiose ending in pristine indie-rock fashion.
The closing track “Just The Feeling” sees the album come to a close much in the same way it began, with a dreamy guitar-laden ballad. This time though, the sound is much hazier, as if we are left watching the artist ride off into the golden sunset after singing us her songs, giving the album a perfect sense of closure.