As a young multi-instrumentalist, producer and the daughter of Leftfield’s Neil Barnes, Georgia Barnes’ debut is far more intriguing than that of your usual 20-something newcomer. Georgia cuts between chaotic walls of noise and gentler yet still abrasive arrangements, defined by the constant buzzing of the effects that run through the album. It features strong production, but simultaneously has a rough element to it that makes its status as a debut album more apparent. Once or twice, it veers toward turning into a complete mess: It’s how she manages to avoid this conclusion and use it to the song’s benefit that makes this such a strong debut.
Though Intro opens the album with the synthesised sound of a choir and children shouting Georgia’s name, the innocent start is a bit of a red herring. Between the urban thrum of Kombine, the constant assault of electronic sounds and distorted chorus vocals of Be Ache, and the calmer synth-string laden Hold It, Georgia has crafted an album that shares one aggressive, abrasive sound while managing to keep the individual songs varied.
Even the album’s staple ballad finds a way to fit into the context of the album at large. Heart Wrecking Animals is largely a mixture of synthetic strings and piano, with Georgia sounding particularly vulnerable; it makes for a minimal song that is initially at odds with the surrounding songs. It’s the addition of wobbling bass synths and unexpected guitar cut-ins that give the song its own abrasive elements that help it slot into the album. When You comes on to signal the end of the album, the minimal factor is taken even further. The song features nothing but a main wobbling synth, Georgia’s vocals distorted more than ever and sharp effects flying across your headphones: a fitting end to a mad album.
It shows Georgia’s talent that she can work any style of song to fit her part urban, part industrial style, which makes Georgia as interesting as it is. While the aforementioned roughness makes it feel more like a young producer’s debut than it probably should, its ability to define the music rather than ruin it is what makes Georgia so strong. On the list of artists to debut in 2015, Georgia definitely comes across as one to watch.