I had an extremely difficult go at writing this review. I was so utterly captivated, held prisoner by its disturbing beauty that I could think of nothing worthy to say about it. As much as I hate to admit it, Find Shelter gave me writer’s block. I listened to it over and over, trying to find the words that would justify my reaction to it. Georgeson has the potential be ranked among the big names of the far-reaching folk genre as it stands today. His music measures up to the likes of Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Devendra Banhart, and Iron and Wine and echoes the work of folk daddy du jour Nick Drake.
I’m not usually accustomed to employing so much hyperbole in my assessment of a folk album by a semi-obscure artist. However, this album took me completely by surprise. At first listen Find Shelter seems like a quirky collection of throwback tunes recorded for the enjoyment of hipster saddies, but additional listens reveal a delicate and enduring record worthy of attentive listening.
Noah Georgeson has spent most of his time behind the scenes, most notably as a producer for Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart. Described on his myspace page as “Dean Martin in a coal mine”, with his debut solo album, Find Shelter, Georgeson is carving out a unique identity as that of a folk troubadour. And skilled as he is behind the board, Georgeson proves a competent songwriter, crafting beautiful orchestrations to complement his guitar arpeggios and melancholy vocals.
Musically, Find Shelter is consistent all the way through - many of the songs meld into one another to form a terrific statement as an album. The album was written, scored, arranged, and produced by Georgeson himself between 1999 and 2003 – a rather long time to piecemeal an album together. Nonetheless, Find Shelter is a seamless achievement in elaborate production and moody songcraft.