Weather Codes from Georgia’s Horse opens with somnambulant blues chords and a harmonica squawk that sounds like it was pulled from the bowels of the earth. A languid, female vocal kicks in at about the one-minute mark, increasing the quirk factor considerably with its wavering vulnerability and off-kilter inflection. The song is “Apple”, and the good news is it kicks ass. The bad news is that it’s the best thing by far on this record.
No matter; much the balance is a listenable if not especially compelling collection of manly acoustic, folk-inflected tunes that gradually grow more layered and electrified as the album goes on. Stand-out moments include the jangling guitar and swooping fiddle of “Ginger” and the stuttering polyrhythms of “Thistlebomb”, while duller tunes include the piano-centric “A Long Ride Home” and the watery synths of “Westlake”. Good tunes or bad, the star of the show remains Teresa Maldonado’s sultry vocals, which straddle the line between bone-weary and sassily defiant without ever going over entirely one way or the other. A strong record, largely due to the flawless execution of its smoking lead track—but also a frustrating one for precisely the same reason.
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