Peterborough’s Jos. Fortin writes as though he’s writing a novel rather than an album. The characters, places, and feelings he describes are filled with precise and vivid details that are marked by careful consideration. It makes sense then that Fortin’s second album Fairweather Walker has been released with a book of the same name; a physical entity to accompany the dimensioned words of Fortin.
“From this hollow box of wood, I found a song to carve,” sings Fortin in the roving title track and also an outstanding description of his craft. It’s this kind of care Fortin puts in his lyrics that allows him to illuminate the lives of the “Fairweather Walker,” the “Stopwatch Keeper,” and “June,” the spiritual devotion of the epic “When I Meet My Maker,” the heartbreak in “Your Little Paragraph” and so much more. Filtering these words through a cinematic folk lens, highlighted by a rich bass, clarinet, and added strings, Fortin colours his syntax with bold hues, making his stories continually engaging.
Highlight “Your Little Paragraph” is a piano-based ballad and one of the simpler songs from the album but so many uncertainties (what did this paragraph say?) weigh down each haunting key stroke that it makes a gorgeous folk offering draped in mystery. The much fuller standout “Stopwatch Keeper” is a glowing mix of the orchestral and folk elements that hold their light in the darkness and allow Fortin to glance upon his heart’s truths.
Crack open Fairweather Walker and unleash the characters within.
Top Tracks: “Stopwatch Keeper”; “Your Little Paragraph”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)