Sunday, 10 March 2013

Synesthesia Review

The State Of Georgia
Pop Crisis 

The State Of Georgia (aka Georgina Jakubiak) have managed to perform a mini David Bowie esqe come back with this, their second album. Five years ago, around the demise of The Research for whom Georgina sung and played bass, she was often sighted around Wakefield and Leeds with her massive electric piano, and equally huge and beautiful singing voice.

But then she seemed to fade away a little. A few email requests for gigs and Long Division from myself were responded to with the news she was busy with other things, and nothing much seemed to be happening. What a shame, I thought, and had just about decided that I may not hear her again.

Then, just at that very point, I receive a new album through the letterbox. Ok, the surprise wasn’t quite up there with Bowie’s Where Are We Now? but it was a pleasant one all the same.

The big change is that, with a new backing band, this is much louder than before. Most songs are still built around Georgina’s impressive piano playing and smart songwriting, but have been given a massive jolt through an energetic, creative backing and some highly imaginative production.

First single Deaf Dumb & Blind opens the record and realises what seemed to be an unlikely claim on the press release; a Skunk Anansie influence across the record. It’s there in the deep, sub-grunge guitars that populate the chorus and feels like a statement of intent.

The record develops well; third track Earth Angel has some interesting synth and electronic rhythms that bring to mind Bat For Lashes or Bjork at their most accessible.

That album title comes from Georgina’s tendency to see songs and sounds as colours (it’s an actual medical term) and rather than being a faux artistic comment, it actually makes sense as the album moves on. The vocals and piano tie them altogether, but each has its own distinct feel which I feel is partly down to the songwriting, but also down to the use of a strong supporting cast.

The middle of the album is populated by two Ryan Jarman contributions, one on guitar and one on backing vocals. Certain production elements bring to mind one half of the production team’s own band – Middleman. The Beast morphs string samples into some kind of euphoric rave-noise over a thumping four – four bass drum. The record closes with Georgina singing with a backing of harmony singers, and nothing else.

In short, a lot of thought has gone into it. It’s not just ten tracks that happen to sit together on a playlist. There’s a massive, pure talent on display here and whether your love of music is one of technical appreciation or simply a heartfelt, gut instinct, this will certainly leave your heart and your head in a very good place.

And we finally got her for that Long Division appearance too…

Dean Freeman

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