Release Date: Jun 29, 2015
Record label: Marathon Artists
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
“I’ve got no soul/Cos country music to me sounds like rock’n’roll,” admits Fraser A Gorman on ‘Broken Hands’. On his debut album ‘Slow Gum’, the singer-songwriter and part-time carpenter makes it easy to imagine his younger self hanging posters of Bob Dylan and Hank Williams on his bedroom wall rather than more typical teenage idols like David Bowie or Kurt Cobain. Gorman says it himself on opener ‘Big Old World’ as he sighs “It’s a strange old time to be in love with Elvis” but his twanging guitars, coarse strings and drawled tales of love and life feel less like homages and more instinctive and organic.Like country’s luminaries, the 24-year-old Melbourne resident has a knack for vivid storytelling.
Australian singer-songwriter and Courtney Barnett pal Fraser A. Gorman wants you to know how much he values the legacy of Americana. Just look at him: The many sepia-toned photos of the troubadour feature his mop of Dylanesque curls, bolo ties, and denim jackets. His debut, Slow Gum, features a reworking of Jackson C.
Likable 24-year-old folkie Fraser A. Gorman is the latest member of Courtney Barnett's circle of Melbourne singer-songwriters. But where Barnett trades in self-aware grunge paranoia, Gorman is a classic-rock romantic who daydreams about ex-girlfriends and road trips. His tastes can run eclectic: These ballads and alt-country rockers find Gorman singing "It's a strange old time to be in love with Elvis" in one song and paying tribute to Silver Jews in another.
In Fraser A Gorman’s world, the internet hasn’t arrived yet. Slow reflections on love and everyday mundanity make up the sweetly lilting Americana of his debut, slotting in comfortably next to the work of his Melbourne indie scene contemporary Courtney Barnett. Where she opts for harder-edged guitars, Gorman bathes songs such as Mystic Mile, My Old Man and Broken Hands in the warm glow of organ chords, harmonica and lap steel.
Good news: there are more where Courtney Barnett came from. Fellow Melbourne singer-songwriter, Fraser A Gorman, shares both a label and a laconic singing style with Barnett; they habitually appear in each other’s videos. On his debut, Gorman is less indie rock and more classic Americana than Barnett, combining Bob Dylan, the Velvet Underground and many pedal-steel points between.
“It’s a strange old time to be in love with Elvis”, admits Fraser A. Gorman on “Big Old World”, the plaintive opener to his debut record. Slow Gum is an unabashed anachronism, with Gorman proudly channelling his influences to produce an authentic rewriting of 70’s folk rock and classic Americana. However, the self-styled 23-year-old troubadour from Melbourne isn’t eulogising a bygone era so much as reanimating it.