Georgia — Seeking Thrills (10th Jan., 2020)
✹ Barnes navštěvovala školu BRIT v londýnské čtvrti Croydon, kde začala profesionálně hrát na bicí nástroje. Když se Georgia ponoří do taneční hudby, stejně to platí pro většinu „Seeking Thrills“, najde své nejúžasnější já. Dokonce i když Georgia zpívá o vztazích, lásce, romantice a všech těch standardních krmivech pro populární hudbu, její texty mají sklon zdvojnásobit se jako pocta radosti z tance. Jako vždy, britská umělkyně vrcholí, když je v režimu ‘full~on club’. A jak poznamenává Jordan Bassett z NME, „není to úplně dokonalý obrázek, ale druhé album Londýňanky zachycuje tlak a tah klubu s autorským okem. Jásavý a bystrý dokument o životě, který se pohybuje pod disco světly. Zná historii své taneční hudby a to, jak má vypadat rave v roce 2020: inkluzivní, slavnostní a komunální. Je ponořená, ale s trochou ledu v srdci vše sleduje spisovatelským způsobem.“
Birth name: Georgia Barnes
Born: 1993/1994, London, England
Location: London, UK
Album release: 10th January 2020
Record Label: Domino
Vinyl duration: 21:37+20:18=> 41:55
1 Started Out 3:42
2 About Work The Dancefloor 3:29
3 Never Let You Go 3:47
4 Mellow (feat. Shygirl) 3:40
5 Til I Own It 3:50
6 I Can’t Wait 3:09
1 Feel It 3:52
2 Ultimate Sailor 3:37
3 Ray Guns 3:27
4 The Thrill (feat. Maurice) 4:28
5 Honey Dripping Sky 4:54
01 Started Out 3:42
02 About Work The Dancefloor 3:29
03 Never Let You Go 3:47
04 24 Hours 3:06
05 Mellow (feat. Shygirl) 3:40
06 Till I Own It 3:50
07 I Can’t Wait 3:09
08 Feel It 3:52
09 Ultimate Sailor 3:37
10 Ray Guns 3:27
11 The Thrill (feat. Maurice) 4:28
12 Honey Dripping Sky 4:54
13 Never Let You Go (Alternative Version) 3:46
• Signed by Georgia
• Red heavyweight vinyl
• Printed PVC sleeve
• 16 page booklet featuring photography of Nancy Honey
• Domino Mart exclusive
• Comes with an MP3 and WAV download card. The download incudes the track ‘24 hour’
• Seeking Thrills is a sharply paced and fascinating album, packed with injections of lightness and fun paired with rich, bubbling melodies. Georgia is reminding you of the altitude of your last real thrill, and when we turn the record on, we’re there again, aching for more.
✹ ‘Started Out’, the first single Georgia released from Seeking Thrills, is an upbeat pop twist on Mr Fingers’ ‘Can You Feel It’, and as Georgia sings you can almost hear the smile: “We are wicked young fools who behave/Back in the arms of somebody who saved us”. Its release was shortly followed by ‘About Work The Dancefloor’, a synth~charged, Robyn~adjacent pop song with a delicious hook. Both were runaway hits: they hit Radio 1’s A playlist, and propelled Georgia to headline shows across the globe, including dates in Europe, Latin America, the US, Australia, plus a goosebump~inducing one~woman~band set on Glastonbury’s Park Stage. (“It was one of those Glastonbury moments,” Georgia remembers, “like another level.”) ‘About Work The Dancefloor’ has only continued to snowball, now boasting remixes from The Black Madonna, Krystal Klear, and Gabe Gurnsey.
✹ The resulting record is heavily inspired by Chicago House and Detroit Techno of the early 80s. Seeking Thrills fuses analogue club sounds with solid pop songwriting, and showcases Georgia’s lifelong love affair with the drums. As a session drummer, making her name playing and collaborating with Micachu, Kwes, and Kate Tempest, she used her technical knowledge to replicate set~ups from 80s house and techno. She enlisted the expertise of LA engineer Sean Oakley for additional programming and production, while she worked together with Mark Ralph (Years & Years, AlunaGeorge) on mixing and producing.
✹ Seeking Thrills is underpinned with sense of melancholy and vulnerability, and a real sense of power, as it documents Georgia’s emergence from a tough period of life. After the release of her debut, she says, “I was going through quite a heavy period with drinking and, other sorts of substance abuse. My friends sort of gave me an intervention. I always thought, when I’m drinking, I’m just a fun person. But actually, deep down, I was in a bad way.” As she got sober, went vegan, quit smoking, and began writing the new album, Georgia realised the joy of going to clubs around the world without drinking a drop: that dancefloors could be places to heal, rather than just forget. “I was having real experiences. It was an amazing thing. It’s like rock and roll — you will never be able to take away the dancefloor from people. If you’re on a really good dancefloor with a really good DJ, you can be whoever you want to be”.
Thu 9 Jan 2020 13.32 GMT; Score: ★★★½
Georgia: Seeking Thrills review — a bold British hymn to hedonism.
✹ The singer and producer has absorbed Chicago house, Robyn~style pop and dub reggae, and refashioned them into an album about being ‘consumed by night.’
✹ The photo on the cover of Georgia Barnes’s second album seems telling. At first glance, it looks like one of those classic late 80s/early 90s club shots that get ageing acid house veterans moist~eyed with nostalgia. If you were hopelessly prone to romanticising, you might imagine that the people in it were dancing to a track made by Barnes’s father Neil, one~half of progressive house pioneers Leftfield. But it isn’t anything of the sort. On closer examination, it’s not a vintage photo of a rave but of a kids’ party; a 1988 image by photographer Nancy Honey, titled St Stephen’s School Disco, Bath.
✹ It perfectly fits the contents of Seeking Thrills, an album that is ostensibly about hedonistic exhilaration. Over the next 12 months, British pop theoretically could come up with a more stirring evocation of losing yourself on the dancefloor than Barnes repeatedly crying “It’s the rhythm, the rhythm” at the close of 24 Hours, but you wouldn’t bank on it. Furthermore, the album seems to be modelled, at least vaguely, on the trajectory of a big night out, from the dusk~settling anticipation of opener Started Out (“Be wicked and bold now”), through the aforementioned saucer~eyed euphoria, to a becalmed comedown that’s equal parts dazed and reflective. There is a distinctly woozy, 6am quality to the electronics on Ultimate Sailor, while closer Honey Dripping Sky features wistful lyrics — “Did you want to stay? Mistakes were made — I wasn’t thinking straight” — streaked with smears of dissonant synthesiser. So far, so in keeping with a grand tradition of albums from the Chemical Brothers’ Dig Your Own Hole to Katy B’s On a Mission, that hymn the thrills of being, as 24 Hours puts it, “consumed by night”. But Seeking Thrills gradually reveals itself to be something less straightforward than that.
✹ On the surface, it sounds like an album made under the influence of Robyn, but beneath the Dancing on My Own~style synths of About Work the Dancefloor and 24 Hours lurks something more individual and idiosyncratic. You hear it in Barnes’s voice, boldly placed front and centre in the mix and ruthlessly stripped of any voguish vocal affectations. There’s no audible AutoTune, no showy trills or melisma, no faux~American mannerisms. She sounds very British. More importantly, she sounds like herself. There’s a matching sense of personal identity about the music. Seeking Thrills is a more polished album than its angular, distortion~heavy predecessor, Georgia (2015), and Barnes can clearly knock out effervescent pop songs to order, hence her recent Radio 1 ubiquity. But Seeking Thrills seldom cleaves to the kind of well~worn tropes that pack the charts.
✹ A lot has been made of the influence of 80s house and techno on its sound, which feels slightly inaccurate. It’s not that Barnes doesn’t know her dance music history — virtually the first thing you hear on Seeking Thrills is a bass line modelled on that of Larry Heard’s Chicago house classic Mystery of Love. And the whole album feels infected with the weird, reverb~slathered spaciness that helped make early house singles sound so jolting and alien on arrival. But Barnes is blessed with the ability to take vintage influences and absorb them so thoroughly that what seeps out sounds different from her source material, and stamped with her own character. Highlight Ray Guns is a case in point. It manages to be influenced by dub reggae while scrupulously avoiding the kind of cliches artists tend to indulge in when making music influenced by dub reggae. It achieves the cavernous, chaotic feel without using any of the standard sonic signifiers. The results are fantastic: a dense, disorientating swirl of electronic sound, a killer tune with a beat that sounds more like Missy Elliott’s Get Ur Freak On than anything that came out of Kingston’s studios in the 1970s.
AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson; Score: ★★★★
✹ Georgia’s self~titled 2015 debut was a fresh, creative mixture of several left~field pop, post~punk, and electronic styles, filled with busy percussive arrangements and direct, passionate lyrics. Since that curiously underappreciated album’s release, she’s made guest appearances on full~lengths by Suicideyear and Africa Express, and issued a few singles that signaled a shift towards a more club~friendly direction. With Seeking Thrills, she recaptures everything that made her become obsessed with dance music — not just the addictive rhythms and immersive, ear~catching electronic tones, but the wide range of feelings evoked by the songs. Tunes like “About Work the Dancefloor” (easily her catchiest song yet) demonstrate how the urge to lose one’s self at the club is just as strong as falling in love with someone. While that track is glittery synth~disco on par with Robyn’s best, the equally compelling “Never Let You Go” is a racing new wave number with the force of a full band. Shygirl guests on the slow, woozy “Mellow,” which revisits the angular rhythms and deadpan vocals of the more grime~influenced tracks on Georgia’s debut. “Feel It” is in a similar mode but more electrified, with tripped~up beats, surging bass synths, and distorted screams. “Ultimate Sailor” is a momentary step into a Kate Bush~like dreamworld, preceding the empowering sci~fi pop of “Ray Guns” and the yearning house euphoria of “The Trill.” Like the first Georgia album, Seeking Thrills is a sophisticated, emotionally complex pop effort that seems to encapsulate the London native’s life experiences to date.
By Max Freedman; January 8, 2020 | 11:00am | Score: 7.5