(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

What's cool - Geographer, "I'm Ready" (acoustic)

Unplugged, but the vocals are electric

Geographer's Mike Deni starts out with soft, simple fingerpicked line, but misses his second chord to blow the take. A whispered, "I'm sorry" of self-admonishment and he tackles it again. That false start humanizes his performance, but he's convincing enough on his own. While he doesn't engage with the camera, his singing is lush and warm, and the dynamic build to the chorus strum is powerful. I love the effortless way his voice slides into its upper register when he gets soulful. Geographer is known for solid songwriting and emotional depth and this version of "I'm Ready" plays to those strengths.

It's really interesting to compare this stripped down arrangement to the full band version. Aside from toning down the sharper extremes of soft and loud, the solo version has a looser sense of rhythm that adds a rueful edge to the wistful mood. The original is a beautiful song; the chiming synths and delicate strings add a lot, but it's nice to get a better sense of Deni as a solo artist.

"I'm Ready" is on Geographer's upcoming release, Ghost Modern, due out on March 24.

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