Seeking Thrills

With its winning combination of infectious pop hooks and classic house drum sounds, Georgia's debut is a delirious thrill ride, finds Rob Hakimian

Seeking Thrills has been in Georgia’s lab for a long time. She released the singles ‘Started Out’ in late 2018 and ‘About Work The Dancefloor’ in March 2019, both landing on Radio 1’s A list and earning her plenty of praise from other corners. You might have thought that she would want to capitalise on this momentum by releasing her new album Seeking Thrills straight after. But years as a session drummer has turned her into a perfectionist – and she decided to go back and re-tool the album until she felt it would have maximum impact.

Now released in the bright dawn of a new decade, Seeking Thrills’ winning mixture of classic pop writing with house and techno sensibilities has the potential for broad appeal. Georgia is the daughter of Leftfield’s Neil Barnes, and has spoken about using classic drum machines and the connection they give her music to the Detroit and Chicago scenes she admires. However, she is unlikely to ever make straightforward techno like those producers because she just has too big a heart and it needs to get out and express itself.

Escapism is the overriding feeling on Seeking Thrills, whether it’s losing yourself amidst a gaggle of throbbing bodies on the dancefloor or the more conventional pop trope of losing yourself to love. The most intoxicating points on the record are when she balances these elements perfectly, as on the rightly lauded ‘About Work The Dancefloor’, the effervescent elation of ‘24 Hours’ and the euphoria of ‘The Thrill’.

Georgia’s everywoman tales are irresistible in those dance-inflected instances, but veer towards overwrought on a few tracks. The driving synth-pop of ‘Never Let You Go’, the R&B-tinged pontification of ‘Till I Own It’, and the sappy ballad ‘Ultimate Sailor’ align her with more mainstream pop acts, but she’s built in enough sonic detail to set herself apart.

These pop production quirks can take her to some unusual zones too. She teams with Shygirl on ‘Mellow’ to take us on an alcohol binge that quickly slides sideways into a glitchy gutter. ‘Feel It’ is a poppy and sensuous spin on bass music, packed with squelching synths backing her outspoken message. The tropical sci-fi track ‘Ray Guns’ seems like it shouldn’t work – and the jury’s still out as to whether it actually does, but it’s undoubtedly interesting.

Although Seeking Thrills has many brilliant tracks, ‘About Work The Dancefloor’ is still Georgia’s signature song – and a neat summation of her mind set. It seems that while thinking about and working tirelessly on her songs, she can slip into dreams of their impact in a packed venue. Fortunately, Seeking Thrills is often good enough to take listeners to that delirious high with her.

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