‘Move Systems’ was deceiving. For a first taste that was as notable in its immediacy as it was baring a nagging resemblance to one too many of her contemporaries, Georgia’s long player is a startlingly brilliant debut: organic, fiercely so, and bristling with swaggering arrogance. There’s a craving to not be pigeonholed here, to not simply churn out a record of one-dimensional mediocrity, and Georgia Barnes, who wrote, produced and recorded the entire work herself, does it with consummate ease.
You’re immediately struck by how captivating the electronic arrangements are – sparse enough not to intrude, subtle in set up to ensure that they never overwhelm, but often with a lingering sting in the tail. ‘Kombine’ is a perfect example of this, fusing far flung sirens and blips with Georgia’s declaration of “I’mma get you back” in commanding fashion. Similarly, ‘Tell Me About It’s sumptuous beat sounds like it’s been swiped from an early 00’s grime track. Drenched in squelching synths that threaten to spill and swallow up her soulful coo, they allow her just enough room to breathe.
Barnes’ delivery can sometimes prove cutting, particularly on the urgent chorus that ‘Move Systems’ boasts, whereas on other occasions, it verges on gloriously languorous. If ‘Digits’ starts sluggishly, it morphs into a gleeful dancefloor banger across four minutes; her woozy vocals, however, keep the track away from the cheap lights of a nightclub.
For all the authoritative bluster, there are flashes of vulnerability; standing for ‘give me the lie’, ‘GMTL’ finds Georgia seeking misplaced comfort amongst throbbing bass and, at its close, feels all too brief. It appears that a pensive Barnes is just as fascinating.
Having featured as a drummer on releases by Kate Tempest and Kwes, Georgia tears chunks from her idols, many of them spanning the globe and adding to the album’s universal theme in scruffy chopped and screwed fashion. This, however, remains a record firmly rooted in Britain. A London record. And one to be proud of.
Buy: Georgia – Georgia