It’s partly our summer holidays and partly a run of gig in early September but I’ve not yet blogged about the August and September Albums Of The Month from Rough Trade.
Let’s remedy that.
First up is “Georgia” by Georgia, which was the August record. It’s the debut album by Georgia Barnes. The album is self written, self played and self produced and has taken two years to come together. Georgia’s crammed a great deal into her young life so far, also playing football for QPR and Arsenal whilst working in Rough Trade in their Notting Hill store.
The album is very much a city album. Mostly electronic, it takes inspiration from some of the music genres that have been kicking around in London for the last 20 years or so – garage, dub step, ragga etc. This is emphasised by the back of the LP cover with photographs of Georgia next to grafiti decorated walls and underpasses.
Opening with the introductory fanfare with a choir of school children chanting her name, what then sounds like a call to prayer brings us into “Combine”. The track is catchy and strident, with Georgia proclaiming that “I’m gonna get the wrong boy but I’ll get you back.”
Georgia’s vocals are often slowed down, multi tracked and harmonised with themselves. The feel of the record reminds me of two really good albums of the last couple of years that came out on the Hyperdub label, “Pull My Hair Back” by Jessie Lanza and “Wait ‘Til Night” by Cooly G. I’ve written previously about labels that have a quality hallmark about them and Hyperdub fits that bill. They were an excellent couple of albums and if anyone finds their way back to them via this blog, then they are in for a rewarding couple of hours.
Two tracks with available videos are representative of the high quality of the record.
“Nothing Solutions” is a brooding tune, with Georgia stretching her voice around the cry of “No way” not unlike Bjork on the choruses. The clip below is of her performing live at the recent Reading Festival. She reminds me of Neneh Cherry live. I saw Neneh last year as part of the Meltdown Festival with a similar minimalist electronic line up. The West London feel of “Raw Like Sushi” felt fresh at the time and Georgia’s London influences are evident. Georgia works the stage as Neneh does, prowling and on the move.
The clip ends with Georgia behind the drum kit. She previously played drums with the fantastic Kate Tempest and the other featured track, “Move Systems” has a very rhythmic feel to it, again courtesy of Georgia’s percussive skills.
There’s some light and shade on the album, predominantly via the gentle airy “Heart Wrecking Animals” mid way through side two, a Kate Bush style interlude.
It’s an album that benefits from repeated plays on good headphones especially on a commute through London. The album is available from Rough Trade still with a bonus 10″ remix album.