Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

Finding Thrills: Georgia’s Favourite Albums

Georgia takes Jessica Wrigglesworth through the thirteen albums that shaped her life, from her love of Fever Ray, The Cure and Hudson Mohawke, to how Shuggie Otis inspired new album Euphoric

Photo by Will Spooner

For Georgia Barnes, or as she’s better known, just Georgia, music has been a constant. Born in the early 90s, her father Neil was one half of beloved rave duo Leftfield, and she grew up in central London, surrounded by some of the era’s biggest musicians. Unsurprisingly, her own musical journey began young – she would go to festivals with her dad, and later found her own crowd in London’s burgeoning new rave scene, where events like Plastic People and Boiler Room were redefining the electronic music that she grew up with.

She started playing music professionally in the late noughties, initially performing as a drummer for the likes of Kae Tempest, Kwes and Mica Levi. In 2015 she made her debut as an artist in her own right, with the eponymous LP Georgia, released on Domino. The album was well received, but it was her follow up, 2020’s revelatory Seeking Thrills, that propelled her to a new level of success. It was an album that took the electronic music so close to Barnes’ heart and injected it with a joyful, undeniably pop-inspired aesthetic which saw her music reach a wider audience than ever.

For its follow up, Euphoric, Barnes wanted to take a new approach. After the success of Seeking Thrills, Barnes was in demand as a collaborator, working with Gorillaz, Shania Twain, Years & Years, Dan Carey and more. Where her first two records were entirely self-produced, this time Barnes enlisted the help of her friend Rostam Batmanglij, of Vampire Weekend – now producer for Lorde, Clairo, Haim and more, moving temporarily to LA while they worked on the album. The two first connected after Batmanglij heard a demo of a track she did with Mura Masa. “I got this message in my inbox on Instagram from Rostam being like ‘Hey, I hope you don’t mind me reaching out, I just heard the ‘Live Like We’re Dancing’ demo. I love your voice.’” she tells me. “Obviously I was completely ecstatic about receiving this message, I was a huge fan”

The pair agreed to work on music the next time Barnes was in LA, and sure enough in 2019 she found herself in his studio after her first LA headline. What they wrote that day would become the title track of Euphoric. “I left that experience thinking, ‘Shit, maybe I should do the next record with Rostam, that would be a really cool direction to go in.’ So that seed had already been planted before seeking thrills had even come out.”

Working with another producer enabled her to explore her songwriting in a deeper way. “I felt liberated. This record is more of a vocal lead record, andI think I was able to do that because I could pass on some of the responsibility of the production to [Rostam], and I was ok with that because I knew whatever we would create together was going to be good. There was a mutual understanding and trust from the get go. He was very sensitive to the fact that part of who I am is a producer and a songwriter. So he didn’t want to impose or dictate anything.”

Although the warmer climate, and perhaps atmosphere, of LA is evident in Euphoric’s blissful melodies, the record, like its creator, is still undeniably a product of London. “It’s like the mountains meets central London, it’s a total contrast. The industrial-ness and the kind of urban landscapes of London are very much within my artistry,” she tells me from her flat in the centre of the city. We’re talking about her thirteen favourite albums – a selection that includes Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Daft Punk, and Michael Jackson, proof of Barnes’ appreciation for classic songwriting. “I’m not very good at listening to new music to be honest with you.” she laughs, “That’s probably not a good thing to admit.”

Georgia’s new album Euphoric is released on 28 July via Domino. To begin reading her Baker’s Dozen click the image below

First Record

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