Georgia – Georgia Review

Georgia Barnes is a 21 year old multi instrumentalist from North London, and has just released her self titled debut album Georgia, which was written, recorded and produced over a two year period in her home studio. No big deal, right?

I remember an FKA twigs interview on radio 1 a while ago where twigs made a point of explaining the difference between the entertainment business and the music business. The entertainment business is a world of people who look the part and who can sing. These people are then given songs and lyrics by extremely talented individuals, but that don’t look a certain way or fit in. (Ed Sheeran is a brilliant example of someone who used to contribute massively to the music industry behind the scenes, but now works in the spotlight) Now the difference between entertainment and music is evident through the creatives that hold the music industry together. These people are creatives like Georgia Barnes, who sit and slave away at self made projects because they know what they’re capable of, and people like Georgia are an absolute credit to the music industry.
Georgia’s album is a combination of electronica, heavy beats and a shit load of random sounds that work stupidly well but shouldn’t. In other words, it’s a work of art.
For the first track on the album “Kombine” Georgia samples a Pakistani Qawwali mixtape given to her by a taxi driver. It’s fast paced and gives us a glimpse of what we can expect later on. It also undoubtedly has some heartbreak lyricism alongside the heavily layered instrumentation. A perfect start. “Nothing solutions” is a track that incorporates a lot of vocals that border on spoken word, and at the same time there’s still a lot of singing in there, the balance is perfect. The track has plenty of layers, it’s got a fast tempo and it’s somewhat dark but playful at the same time.
One thing that struck me as gripping about this album is that a lot of the same musical techniques are used, and you’d think that would create a very similar sound throughout the albums entirety but it actually does the opposite. Every track is individual, yet overly layered, and there isn’t a strong vocal presence at all especially with tracks like “hold it” which are all about the quirky instrumentation. “Digits” has a slightly more structured beginning and is my favourite song from the album. I like how evident the melody is from the onset, and there isn’t as much going on other than this downwards climbing synth sound and Georgia’s vocals. Then comes the next track “tell me about it”.
Her vocals are the most prominent feature of this song, with stronger dynamics than the other layers. One unquestionable factor about Georgia is that she knows the value of Dynamics in good music.
“Move systems” is another really busy track. It has an opening that shouldn’t fit, but does, and it sounds like it’s been heavily influenced by MIA’s music. This wouldn’t be a surprise as Georgia had actually backed for MIA at one of her shows in the past. There’s something really obscure about this song, and I think it lies within the song’s metaphorical lyrics. The percussion is fantastic, a really fast, heavy beat that provides an absolute contrast for the next song on the album which is a lot more relaxed and melodic. “Heart wrecking animals” is another one of my favourites, I love the guitar riffs alongside the synth and I love how much influence Georgia’s vocals have on this track. There’s a real melody here unlike some of the other tracks on the album, and the instrumentation is a great deal softer. “You were holding me like an animal, it was never real from the start.” This line suggests to me that the reason for the minimalism is to fit in with the softer lyrics, that apparently have a heartfelt meaning behind them.
I’m really looking forward to hearing what this girl is going to produce next, she’s set the bar incredibly high for herself with this album but I have no doubt in my mind that she can top it.
Georgia – Georgia = 8.5/10
Hannah Crowe
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