Georgia Barnes has a knack for creating euphoric dance numbers. Ones that actually make you want to dance.
The London-based producer, vocalist, and ex-session drummer’s sophomore album, Seeking Thrills, is a 54-minute long ode to club lore. From the minute it begins with the aptly titled “Started Out,” you’re invited to get involved. Time to let loose and get sweaty on the dancefloor (which is probably your kitchen at the moment) rather than standing shyly by the wall trying to look cool.
Despite the album being released in January, the concept – dancing as a release – has carried through. With no date in sight for the return of clubs or concerts, now more than ever we need to escape through music.
Luckily for us, Danny L Harle has just released a remix of Georgia’s single “24 Hours” to give the world a much-needed injection of fun. We caught up with Georgia to talk about some of the lead singles from the joyous electro-pop album, the story behind the artwork, and of course, her love of the dancefloor.
Your song “24 Hours” is inspired by the experience of clubbing. What is it about the act that you love so much? It was a combination of me experiencing moments on the dancefloor and then also seeing everyone else experience those things on the dancefloor. It suddenly occurred to me that actually, dancing is just a universal form of release. Everyone that likes to go out and rave and club and be on the dancefloor shares that unity about the release and the transcendental powers of the dancefloor. I think that’s something that binds up altogether. It seemed it would make an interesting song. Everyone could relate to it. I think what’s really interesting about the dancefloor as well is that you have these moments where you meet people or a person, and you’re from two completely different backgrounds, you don’t really know each other that well but you’re sharing a common love for dancing and experiencing good music on a dancefloor. Something can happen that you wouldn’t have expected, and that’s a beautiful thing.
It’s not the first time you’ve penned an ode to clubbing. You also sing about it on “About Work the Dancefloor.” It’s also coincidentally a perfect dance number. Is this– the transcendental nature of the dancefloor– a theme that you set out to encapsulate on the album? Yeah exactly, totally. This universal feeling of love and inclusivity and being able to express yourself in a free environment where there are other people like you, it’s really important. That’s definitely what I was trying to express on Seeking Thrills. It was definitely inspired by seeing all of that.
I love the Seeking Thrills album artwork. To see such a candid display of female joy used as an LP cover is really special. What’s the story behind the visual? We worked with a creative director called Jonny Lu whose company is called Johny Lu Studio. Jonny was really keen to keep the photography theme going. For my first record, I worked with a photographer called James Haweskworth who has now become a good friend of mine. Unfortunately, James couldn’t fit it in his diary.
So one day, Jonny and I were in his studio looking through books and images for the main artwork, and then suddenly this image came up on Jonny’s computer of a girl with a microphone. I said, “that’s really fucking cool, who’s that?” He was like, “Well, this is by a photographer who’s really influential but not really well known, called Nancy Honey. I suggested we find a photographer to take a Nancy Honey style photograph and we left it at that. A couple of days later, Jonny had got a contact for Nancy Honey and had emailed her. He said, “She’s really up for meeting you. She’s really interested in the project. She’s really keen to get more information about the music and about the story.” So Jonny and I went to her flat, going through all these photographs, explaining what the album was about.
We just got on like a house on fire. We had a mutual respect for each other. She really liked the music. She gave us access to our archives and we picked a series called ‘Entering the Masquerade’ which was about when Nancy went to a mining village in the North in the 80s and asked young girls what they wanted to be when they grew up and took photographs. It went with the whole idea of seeking thrills and youthfulness and clubbing as well. There’s this Freudian inner child in all of us that when we’re on the dancefloor it comes out again.
Speaking of artistry and concepts, how did the “About Work The Dancefloor” music video concept come together? We received a treatment from a Spanish director called NYSU. His treatment really stood out from everyone else as he was really thinking outside the box. I don’t usually like to work off the basis of treatments, I like to ask friends or people I’ve come into contact with. I never felt I was really worthy to read treatments but he really got it. I ended up going to Madrid and we shot it in a couple of days. It was really fun and kinda mad. He’s a maverick guy. I just let myself go and be directed; just see what happens. I haven’t got a great track record with videos; I don’t really like making videos for some reason. Unless you have loads of money it’s really difficult. Or you have no money at all and it gets loads of views. Like with “Started Out” we shot it on iPhone.
The record came out in January. How have you been finding the reception so far? It’s been amazing! It’s just been incredible to see. I don’t know how to put it into words. I’ve been all around the world now and seeing people sing back the lyrics and see their responses to the record, it’s just been amazing. It’s a shame because we had such great momentum but Coronavirus has been quite devastating. But you’ve just got to buck up. I’m just glad I released the record when I did.