Pleasant singer-songwriter fare from the West Coast.
Out of the East Bay, San Francisco area comes the eponymous debut album from self-proclaimed musical polyamorist – love that! – Genesis Fermin. When not performing solo, Fermin – who uses the pronouns they and their – plays drums for a number of local bands, including a grunge outfit, a rock band called Milf!, and a Judas Priest worshipping group… testament to their diverse musical capability and hence the polyamorist handle. However, it is unlikely any of the self-penned singer-songwriter material on this album makes the setlist for any of these bands.
In addition to playing drums Fermin also plays acoustic guitar and has written eight pleasant and well-presented songs. Subject matter includes positivity, feeling lost and almost suicidal, longing to be with a lover again, dying. In other words, just the sort of topics to be expected of an earnest singer-songwriter. As Fermin states, they “document their vulnerability in real time.” The songs are smartly written, they have a strong vocal and there are particularly good harmonies throughout.
There are bright, upbeat tracks, a ballad or two, a little country flavour and even Everly Brothers style vocals. The slower-paced ‘Afloat’ tells of being in a very dark place, contemplating the ultimate step, when love saves the day: ”The thought of breaking your heart/is enough to make me think twice.” The feeling of trying to forget someone or something is relayed in ‘New Drugs’, which are needed “to kill all emotion/So I can’t feel this or anything.” The upbeat ‘Overtime’ bounces along, stop worrying about dying, live for the now, enjoy our loved ones and “and make our lives worth living in” and ‘X-Oh’ has a gentle acoustic rhythm and lots of catchy “oh-oh-ohs.”
This is a collection of competently written songs, albeit quite a short collection. While some of the album is reminiscent of Laura Veirs or perhaps 10,000 Maniacs, there isn’t enough higher quality material to raise it above pleasant. There is certainly nothing inherently wrong with the record, just nothing standout remarkable.