The joyful cover art for Georgia’s stunning second album ‘Seeking Thrills’ was shot by cult San Franciscan photographer Nancy Honey, who in the 1980s snapped young women on nights out in northern England. Honey’s photos captured the strange tension of the dancefloor: it’s a communal space, yes, but also a deeply individualistic one, with revellers playing out their own narratives in unison.
It’s this contradiction that comes across on this London musician’s impeccably produced record, an ode to the dancefloor that also charts Georgia’s burgeoning sense of self – she’s explained that newfound sobriety has given her focus and the peace she was lacking previously. The resulting album boasts intense clarity, as well as an all-encompassing lust for life that lifts these 13 tracks from studied homage to the great dance scenes – such as Chicago house and Detroit techno – and into a realm of their own.
Glassy opening track ‘Started Out’ borrows the rolling bassline from feted Chicago house group Fingers, Inc’s classic ‘Mystery Of Love’. Kanye West did the same, albeit in a more ominous manner, with 2016’s booming ‘Fade’. 29-year-old Georgia instead reimagines the sound as a propulsive, post-Disclosure pop-dance crossover that celebrates “the wicked young fools” who find salvation at the club.
You’ll already have heard ‘About Work On The Dancefloor’, the Robyn-style banger on which she admits “I don’t have much in terms of money now / I don’t have material gifts for you / You want me to stay a while / To be in a moment with you.” But it sounds more striking in this context, the surrounding tracks drawing out the essence of Georgia’s worldview: we’re alone on the dancefloor, but we’re alone together, and sometimes that’s enough.
These tracks often veer from her club influences and into straight-up synth-pop (the stuttering, shimmering ’24 Hours’ could have been lifted from a latter-day Tegan & Sara album) but her eclecticism and adventurousness comes across in, say, the Balinese Gamelan stylings on the kaleidoscopic ‘Ray Gun’, on which Georgia turns what sounds like an enjoyably meaningless hook (“pick up your ray guns”) into a powerful call-to-arms. “Let your light shine up to the sky,” she demands, imploring us to “be who you will be… collectively”. This is a life-affirming message in the truest sense: you’re here, I’m here – let’s have an experience together, however fleeting it may be.
‘Seeking Thrills’ is front-loaded with the fun-but-cool Robyn-influenced bangers that saw Georgia tipped to inherit 2020, and it’s true that a few more muted tracks cause the pace to slacken in the second half. The languid minimalism of ‘Ultimate Sailor’, despite its haunting, Lynchian lyrics (“I’d travel the world for you… I’d jump from the waves in high heels”) can’t help but feel flat after the breakneck romanticism of ‘Never Let You Go’. Closer ‘Honey Dripping Sky’ is similarly anticlimactic, Georgia lamenting the end of the party, watching in dismay as that sense of community retreats.
Overall, though, her second album leaves you with the overwhelming sense of a music buff whose work transcends its influences through its author’s evangelical self-belief and faith that the dancefloor can bring people together. There’s a quicksilver quality to a track like ‘Feel It’, which morphs from pop confection to something much more jagged.
Georgia knows her dance music history, and what she wants a rave to look like in 2020: inclusive, celebratory and communal. She’s immersed but, with a chip of ice in her heart, watches on in a writerly fashion. It’s not quite picture perfect, but ‘Seeking Thrills’ is Georgia’s jubilant and insightful document of the life that moves under the disco lights.
Release date: January 10
Record label: Domino Record Co.