Johnnyswim Deliver Sweet Melodies in Georgica Pond
Johnnyswim has released their second album Georgica Pond. Although technically this is their 4th album if you include LP Diamonds, two e.p.’s. (Heartbeats & A Johnnyswim Christmas), as well as a full live album Live at Rockwood Music Hall.
I’m a relatively recent listener to Johnnyswim. I found them several months ago after hearing “Summertime Romance” on Spotify. I started following them heavily since then. I love their story of how they met and make music together. In fact, most of their music is about their relationship. It’s honest, real and enviable. They have openly stated within interviews that their music is their therapy. It helps them communicate, leading to a rather harmonious relationship that allows them to spend so much time together.
Reviewing this album was so easy and seamless. I had the advantage of listening to quite a few of the singles before the album was released, so I was attached to a lot of the songs already. It was a matter of consuming and enjoying the new songs that I was most excited about.
Below you’ll find my breakdown of each song:
“Welcome to Georgica Pond”
This short introduction to the album refers to Georgica Pond. The pond is a coastal lagoon in the Hampton's and is a very popular location with celebrities. Amanda’s family owns land up there and it is a place of great solace and relaxation.
This song is so delicate, subtle and sweet. It’s a very chill song and it sounds as if the audio was recorded live in the studio. The chorus is very catchy and sure to get stuck in your head. “I’m a hummingbird looking for sweet water, to ease you off my mind!”.
Easily one of my favorite songs of the summer. It’s a great love song, perfect for wedding videos! The small electric guitar notes are a nice touch. The lyrics are what really get me though. So pure and sweet speaking of young love and making it work no matter the costs.
The chorus illustrates a song about true easy love. Ending the song with the orchestra strings produced such a beautiful arrangement. “Summertime Romance” is one of those songs you listen to over and over and forget that it’s been playing for 4 times in a row. It’s that good.
Johnnyswim often does a segment on their Youtube channel called New Music Monday and I was able to hear the early version of this song about a year ago. Another great chorus and the guitars have a bit of an 80’s rock ballad essence. This 80’s rock vibe is furthered by tambourines and interwoven vocal arrangements. Its a pleasant song to jam out with; it’s so fun and short. It chronicles the trials of a relationship and misunderstanding, but committing to working it out. There is an extra acoustic live jam at the end!
A piano driven song that is quiet and sad. It’s obviously a religious song, with some choir gospel vocals towards the end of the song. As someone who is not religious, I found the song not overwhelming in its religious message, but more of a praise song to an individual. This song may be in reference to the birth of their son Joaquin and how he is loved and makes them feel divine. At the end of the song, they have Joaquin singing and they encouraging him to continue. It’s incredibly affectionate and intimate.
The title track has a soft slow start, but towards the middle of the song it starts to build with light guitars and raising vocals. Amanda is the only one singing in this particular song of being someone’s light home. She layers some of the track with humming and wooing in the background. This is more of a contemplative song of support and love.
“Let it Matter”
Another single that was released early, so I’m familiar with it. A gentle song about experiencing raw emotions and heartache and being able to persevere through the hard roads, and get on the other side. It’s a great message that’s relevant to many people. I really appreciate the timing being a bit different in this song. The bridge is a set up for the chorus, which has a very different cadence.
Is this their love story?! I think this is their love story. “First Try” is about knowing who is right for you from the beginning. It starts acoustic at first, then turns to a sing-a-long country gospel-ish type jam. The chorus is such a mesmerizing sing-a-long with layered lyrics that you can’t help but nod your head or tap your feet. The melody had this driving forward type of feel. There’s even a clap along at the end. It’s a serious dedication song, that is fun at the same time.
“In My Arms”
An acoustic classic kind of sound, with strings. It’s smooth, slow, sounds like a 40’s classic performed with a piano in a speakeasy. The lyrics wander through fantasies the artists have about their life and future. They will be good as long as they are together. Abner speak-sings in French for a few lines towards the end and it feels effortless and perfect that that point. I feel like this song would be played in a ballroom.
“Lonely Night in Georgica” ft. Vince Gill
Here there are slow gospel vocals to start, but then Vince starts with some low key vocals blending an interesting mix of gospel and country. Amanda’s wailing vocals are so nice in this setting. I love Abner’s voice, but it’s enjoyable to hear Amanda’s voice next to a third vocalist in this song. This one ends with an electronic bluesy rock guitar solo.
This is the 3rd or 4th single that I was familiar with on this album. I like it. A ode for drunks, which is kind of a sad thing, but somehow becomes a loving solidarity anthem. I quite enjoy the wailing, its a subtle song of remembrance and pain. Something to sing-a-long during those hard times.
“Say Goodnight Instead”
Amanda sings softly and quiet with a light electric guitar strum. It’s another beautiful song with some climbing in vocals, but still maintaining a solemn vibe.
The final song that I’ve heard before being released. It’s a great short single that would do well with a music video to accompany it. Solid lyrics about love and its limitations. Here they use acoustic guitar again, but it’s just the two of them.
This last song on the album is a cover of the Chris Isaak classic. It is super slow and sultry. Talk about a slow jam!. It is ethereal and pulsing. An interesting and sexy way to end an album about life and love.
Another fantastic album from Johhnyswim. The exploration of love, pain and determination is quite beautiful. Amanda and Abner are so open and raw, taking us on this epic journey of loss and pain, but enduring with so much love. Listening to their music reminds you of the power of love and that despite the problems we have in life, love and respect should be at the forefronts of our minds.
Love on Johnnyswim, love on.