In Notes From Left of the Dial this week, Nooga.com spends some time with music from Georgie, Thirsty, Matilda Lundberg and Film Jacket 35. What have you been listening to this week?
Georgie, “Company of Thieves”
Virginia imprint Spacebomb Records, and its associated Spacebomb Studios, has graced fans with immaculate records from label founder Matthew E. White, Julien Baker and Natalie Prass-all records that possess a singular voice rising above the din of modern independent music. And now, they’ve added another voice to their collective, that being the soulful persuasion and elegant conviction of U.K. artist Georgie. There’s more than enough fury and grit in her 21-year-old perspective to make a compelling argument that age counts for absolutely nothing when it comes to music. She casually elicits deep reservoirs of emotion, gathering together a string of cathartic movements that have a deep-seated need to evolve and resist rote categorization.
With her debut single, “Company of Thieves,” Georgie makes good on the promise of her previous labelmates. The sound is unique and propulsive, ushered along by the vital nuance of Spacebomb’s house band. Her voice is curious and powerful, and leaves a lasting impression. “Company of Thieves” is certainly biting in its lyrical approach, but it also feels like less of a standard narration and more of an interactive experience. She isn’t merely inviting us to listen to her story-she’s inviting us to become a part of its history and memory. A blast of pure, unfiltered rock ‘n’ roll, this song commands the attention of everyone within earshot; it’s a miraculous conflagration of White’s old soul/new rock production and Georgie’s irrepressible passion.
Thirsty, “The Albatross”
London-based rock outfit Thirsty has its influences written across their hearts: The Rolling Stones, The Velvet Underground and Stooges all come to mind. But their ability to work their way through such a recognizable set of sounds and still manage to create something insular is a testament to their knowledge of their rock forebears. And the fact that the band worked with Rolling Stones producer Chris Kimsey on their forthcoming record, “Albatross,” only solidifies their classic rock heritage. So while we can see the trail leading back, Thirsty is looking ahead to a vision of rock music that balances between the inspiration of the past and a wide-eyed anticipation for the future.
On “The Albatross,” the band cracks open the vault of bleached blues history and investigates the emotional connections that lie inside. Buoyed by Bailey’s gravelly voice and an obsession with classic rock’s addiction to the origins of blues music, the track squeals and lays out a series of exhilarating guitar riffs that peer into the heart of the band’s numerous influences. A subversive wit recalls the work of Lou Reed or Talking Heads but repurposes in service to the band’s distinct musical outlook. The familiar elements are reshaped and twisted almost beyond recognition-and unlike its namesake, “The Albatross” isn’t likely to bring the band bad luck. Instead, it reveals a vast ocean of possibility and potential.
Matilda Lundberg, “Fear”
Swedish musician Matilda Lundberg doesn’t do anything in half measures. Drawing from a long lineage of electronic pop, she invokes the abject inclusivity and joyous catharsis that the pop genre so richly revels in. She wraps her songs in a fluorescent glow, resulting in a sound that’s full of vibrant melodies and ecstatic pop revelations. The music is compelling, all mysterious synth undulations and ebullient pop rivulets. Lundberg uses the inherent artificiality of this kind of music to explore the often-forgotten pop heart that shakes the foundations of what we assume these explosive rhythmic oscillations can accomplish.
On her new single, “Fear,” Lundberg pulls apart our pop expectations and constructs a viable outlook from the individual pieces. Her voice soars upward on a cushion of synth pop theatricality, a bombastic and unique sound that quickly asserts its hold on our attention. There’s a surge of melody and unrestrained noise that crashes up against our assumptions and reveals Lundberg’s innate understanding of what makes these bioluminescent sounds so attractive and effective. “Fear” isn’t about being subtle-it’s about confronting the fears that hold you back and tearing them into small pieces with your bare hands. She doesn’t shy away from the fact that we all deal with a darkness of sorts, but she urges us to face that darkness and put it under our feet, far away from our hearts and thoughts.
Film Jacket 35, “Angkor Wat”
Influenced by the breakdown in governmental and financial affairs in Greece, garage rock duo Film Jacket 35 makes music that casts an eye toward the past in order to comment on the obstacles and fallacies of the present. Composed of Jam D and John Skevis, the band functions as an outlet for the raw emotion and tangible angst that have become commonplace in their country. Driven by the need to address common problems and universal truths, Film Jacket 35 was created to harness that musical instability and funnel it into a sharpened musical perspective. The band is set to release their debut LP, “Limbo Mind & Infected Cells,” Jan. 20.
With their latest single, “Angkor Wat,” the band uses their experiences visiting an old church in an abandoned 19th-century village in Greece as fodder for an electrifying blast of proto-garage rock. The guitars hiss and hum with the glow of fuzz-soaked amplifiers, while their voices echo and cascade through a background of ’60s-era psychedelia that twists until it has completely surrounded the listener. There’s a loose and ragged feel to the music, and it’s bolstered by a fiery determination. They may be trafficking in some heavy nostalgia, but they manage to keep everything from feeling like a simple rehash of history. “Angkor Wat” howls, kicks and demands your undivided attention.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.