Unsurprisingly, the album is built upon a deep roots music tradition. What may be surprising is just how much of the roots Ford chooses to draw upon this time is Southern Rock (albeit extremely toned down).
The wrenching "U Got Religion" is a Southern Rock ballad to could, other than the vocals, be easily mistaken for something from Lucero. The organ swirl which is constant throughout the album, turns "September Fields" in particular into a chill Southern opus.
Ford's vocals become smoky and soulful on "Done". She seems to channel Alt Country legend Lucinda Williams on "Three Golden Trees". She rides a cresting wave into a near-Hallelujah Gospel(ish) ending on the title track.
She gets ever so slightly funky when the tempo picks up a tad on "Natural Law".
With "You're Not Free" Ford wraps all of these sounds and influences together on one sprawling hybrid of a track.
Though well-crafted and beautifully and warmly sung, Indian Ocean begs to be a bit more fast (or even medium) paced to truly make itself anything more than a listen for a very specific mood.
Frazey Ford plays the Rivoli in Toronto on October 14th.
Best tracks: "Natural Law", "Done"
Track listing for Indian Ocean:
- September Fields
- You're Not Free
- Three Golden Trees
- U Got Religion
- Season After Season
- Natural Law
- Weather Pattern
- Indian Ocean
- September Fields (Acoustic)