When it comes to matters of the heart, expect turbulence ahead.
As its title indicates, Love Can Change, the full-length debut from Georgia Sound, addresses the tempestuous nature of romantic entanglements. In a collection of ten lyrically forthright folk-pop songs that range from cozy toe-tappers to more volatile rockers, the Canadian duo charts the rise and fall of relationships, exploring both initial getting-to-know-you intimacy and the devastating aftermaths of break-ups. Emotional conflict is as old as time, but that doesn’t make it any less confounding or compelling.
Singer-songwriters Ryan Roy and Shannon Magee met at an open mic night in 2011, and quickly embarked on a partnership. Their collaboration resulted in the well-received 2012 EP One Way Path, and their live performances earned raves for the fullness of the sound they achieved with simply an acoustic guitar and piano. On Love Can Change the pair enlists the talents of producer Steve Dierkens to further flesh out their compositions while still retaining the vocal chemistry that won over Calgary music fans. Roy and Magee trade off lead vocals, blending his impassioned delivery with her delicate tone. Their silvery harmonies lend an additional sheen to their songs.
Throughout Love Can Change, Georgia Sound demonstrates an admirable sense of self-awareness and perspective. In the pair’s view, love is not meant to remain stagnant; couples inevitably experience ebbs and flows, which can result in either renewed affection or deep-rooted regret. The album’s title track acknowledges the dual nature of romantic attachments: “Love can hit you like a tidal wave/Love can make you feel like you’re safe.” The true power of the songs on Love Can Change lies within Roy and Magee’s convincing performances that ably capture adoration and angst.
Album highlights include the moody “You Will Always,” a tale of yearning for a significant other that slipped away, and “Trouble.” However, the most disarming song on the record may be the country-tinged charmer “Comfortable.” In direct contrast to more blatantly sexual songs, it’s an unexpected ode to chivalry and taking it slow. It’s a number that is both sweet and sensual. While Love Can Change covers familiar subject matter, Georgia Sound continues to surprise.