Georgia Ruth has had a busy few months, working with Guillemots on new material as well as appearing with Pen Pastwn, the new band from Richard James of Gorky’s Zygotic Monkey. Now she’s releasing her own solo album, Week Of Pines. Recorded in Snowdonia’s Bryn Derwen with help from fellow Welsh country-folk band Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog, it sees Ruth recapturing her love for her home country, following spells of living in London and Brighton.
It’s this return to her roots that acts as the album’s major influence. The atmosphere shifts throughout from eerieness to gentle warmth. ‘Dovecote’ is beautifully spine-tingling whilst her version of American folk standard ‘Old Blue’ is solid. There are also a handful of Welsh-language songs yet they compliment the tunes sung in English rather well; the gorgeously performed ‘Codi Angor’ (a sea shanty that was popular amongst Welsh sailors in the Liverpudlian docks) is followed by ‘Mapping’, which starts off serenely enough before picking up steam near its end.
It is at times dreamy. Almost too dreamy. That said, there are enough subtle elements in the arrangements to keep the listener from getting lost (guitars add a bluesy edge to the likes of ‘Etrai’) and she’s also capable of writing songs that ready for radio. ‘See You Around’ has an understated chorus and, whilst sticking out for not having the same amount of intrigue as her other work, is likely to stick with the listener for a while.
Week Of Pines is an encouraging debut that, whilst not doing anything particularly new, is calm and soothing. Some listeners will struggle to understand the meaning of the songs that are sung in Welsh but it shouldn’t be a barrier to actually enjoying them.
Words: Max Raymond