There’s a joyous energy that’s heard across every track of Seeking Thrills, the long awaited second album from Georgia. This is pop music designed to thrill.
I say long awaited because Seeking Thrills has literally been sat waiting to be released for the best part of a year, delayed as soon as BBC Radio 1 added ‘About Work The Dancefloor’ to their playlist, probably in a bid to build into the release and truly ‘launch’ Georgia as an artist. Notably her UK tour at the tail end of 2019 was rescheduled for March 2020 instead, along with upgrades to bigger venues. She was recently listed on the station’s Sound of 2020 longlist, following appearances on Jools Holland and big coverage at Festivals, the push for Georgia to become a new big name for this year is obvious.
It’s something that actually leaves me wanting a bit more from an album I probably could have been enjoying for the last 12 months. I’ve been enjoying energetic ‘Never Let Me Go’ for ages, while ‘About Work The Dancefloor’ was undoubtedly one of 2019’s best pop records. It’s full of strange uses of sound, it’s awkwardly constructed lyrical hook gives it this sort of wonky pop aesthetic. That’s something that comes across on the other great moments here too. ‘I Can’t Wait’ crashes in with vocal effects and dissonant harmonies, while opener ‘Started Out’ uses samples to great effect.
The proper dance moments fall either side of this style, ending up sounding more like an early M.I.A. record on ‘Feel It’ and the somewhat too hectic ‘Ray Guns’. For me Georgia doesn’t have that same electrifying energy as a performer. Her half sung half rapped verses on ‘Ray Guns’ and the only true misstep here, the grinding ‘Mellow’, just don’t gel for me. ‘Mellow’ in particular brings the album to a screeching halt pretty early on, which the appearance of some of the more delicate moments thankfully make up for.
‘Till I Own It’ is a Euro-pop mid tempo gem of a song, while ‘Ultimate Sailor’ is undoubtedly the moment when. lyrically and emotionally’ Georgia captures the listener most intensely. You can hear the influence of Robyn; Georgia would have been a teenager when ‘With Every Heartbeat’ and ‘Be Mine’ were released and you can hear it on every song.
Seeking Thrills is an album that works best when it feels weird and organic, the times when Georgia shines as a drummer and a singer, but occasionally you can hear the hand of a label pushing things in a more accessible direction that’s ‘easier to sell’.
It’s telling that ’24 Hours’, the most straightforward and somewhat predictable track here, is the song that’s being pushed alongside the album’s release; Seeking Thrills would have been one of 2019’s most interesting pop records, but somehow feels less significant now.
Words by Sam Atkins.