Release Date: Aug 7, 2015
Record label: Domino
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Club/Dance
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Sometimes a record comes along that slaps you so fucking hard in the face you'd have to be dead not to feel something for it. Even if you hated it, it has something that stalks your in mind at every distracted moment. Perhaps it's a turn of phrase, a juddering bounce in the rhythm, or a melody that longs to be finished and sang out loud.
All it takes is one minute for Georgia Barnes to introduce her wild ingenuity to the world. It’s not even a particularly appealing one - minding the unnecessary use of the word “Intro” to open a new chapter in her career after having collaborated with a slew of other musicians like Kate Tempest and Kwes, the bewildering track opens with an ambient choral sample before a choir of mirthful children cry her name with gleeful naïveté. Which could, in fact, reflect the playful manner in which she creates: her first solo outing is truly a labor of love, exploring a colorful array of sounds with childlike wonder.
Like other musical omnivores before her, Georgia is distilling the essence of music of the period. At times the resulting album makes clear her influences, but never to the point it wears out its welcome. Her self-titled debut on Domino calls to mind watershed records such as Mellow Gold by Beck and Kala by M.I.A. Albums that captured the mood and politics of the time, trapping its essence in amber.
On her debut album, inspired in part by her parents’ divorce, 21-year-old Brit school alumna and drummer-for-hire Georgia Barnes has created a constantly shifting soundtrack to modern London. At times bolshy and aggressive (the MIA-esque clatter of Move Systems; Be Ache’s “you’re making me the enemy” mantra), it proffers its own strand of UK hip-hop, weaving in post-punk, grime and airy R&B. There is also heartache bubbling under the surface, specifically on the pretty minimalism of highlight Heart Wrecking Animals.
Stepping into the spotlight after years of working as a session drummer, Georgia Barnes (daughter of Leftfield's Neil Barnes) introduces herself as a striking presence with her eponymous full-length debut. Her distinctly British style of experimental pop music features caustic, buzzing bass and jagged beats reminiscent of grime, as well as distorted vocals and acid techno synth lines. It's easy enough to compare her to M.I.A.
Reading Georgia Barnes’s CV could lead to a deflating “And what had you done by the time you were 21?”-style crisis of confidence. She has already played football for Arsenal and QPR, worked at Rough Trade, and now she’s about to release a debut album – all written, recorded and produced in her bedroom over a two-year period. With nods to hyperactive producers such as Rustie, it’s a collision of pop, grime and electronica that shows off MIA-esque magpie tendencies: Kombine, for instance, samples a Qawwali cassette tape she was given by a cab driver.
Her self-titled debut LP hadn't even dropped yet and 25-year-old British multi-instrumentalist, producer, and songwriter Georgia Barnes was already being touted as one to watch, earning comparisons to the likes of M.I.A., among others.With Georgia, a brisk slap in the face from a fresh and much-needed newcomer, she makes good on her early promise. It's quickly evident her debut is the product of a life spent fully submersed in the realm of music — at just 25, she's already played drums for names like Kwes and Micachu — and her prowess is heard on "Move Systems," easily one of the most striking first singles out there. Written, performed, and produced solely by the artist, Barnes' debut is a percussive gem saturated with guttural synths.
More than a decade after its first wave, grime continues to extend its tentacles further and deeper into the musical mainstream. The latest example is 21-year-old Londoner Georgia Barnes (or GEoRGiA, to give her name its proper stylisation), whose self-titled debut – a mix of inventive electro-futurism, propulsive tribal rhythms and singer-songwriterly intimacy – announces the arrival of a new post-grime pop auteur.Barnes – the daughter of Leftfield’s Neil Barnes – was formerly on the books of QPR and Arsenal Ladies and the sometime drummer with the likes of Kwes and Kate Tempest. She wrote and recorded every note of ‘Georgia’ in her home studio.
I’m seeing a trend emerge here. I’m about to tell you 'bout another singer/songwriter, again who’s written and produced her own work, again on a major label. Hmm. However, while Emilie Nicolas dabbled mostly in dainty shades of ivory, London-based artist Georgia slashes in broad strokes of maroon.
Just like the rest of us, musicians often take supporting roles before striking out into their careers. Sinkane learnt the ropes from within the session bands of Caribou and Yeasayer, Neneh Cherry’s solo career came after being in the touring band of The Slits, and next big thing CuckooLander rose from the ranks of Charli XCX’s band; its an endless list of cameos. Multi-instrumentalist and sonic purveyor Georgia Barnes, or GEoRGiA if you want to be correct and much more awkward, is stepping out of the force that is team Kate Tempest, and on this evidence this latest graduate from stage left position to the spotlight is likely to make a very successful transition.
A multi-instrumentalist best known for being Kate Tempest’s drummer, London, UK’s Georgia evokes a skittering, glazed-over slice of up-all-night club life on her moody, uneven debut. Bolstered by hip-hop flourishes and Yeezy levels of jarring distortion and discord, the young artist sounds raw, often oscillating between a tentative and assertive demeanour. She certainly has an ear for current production flavours when it comes to building layered rhythm tracks.