Tuesday, 20 July 2010

MEET: Mad Georgie, Playful Princess

“The only ones for me are the mad ones… who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn… “ Jack Kerouac

Beth is a mad one. She makes Lily Savage look like a librarian. She charms and reminds you of anything delirious and beautiful, anything lavish and colourful. She reels people in with her extravagant pronouncements and witty self-deprecation. She prefers the unreal to dull facts.

“When I was little, there was this arctic fox that always came to see me while I’m upset. It’s not physically there; it’s like a see-through, spirit animal kind of thing.”

Displaying immeasurable enthusiasm, Beth has an endearing ability to start most answers with “I like” or “what I really like.” She effortlessly shoehorns excitement about her chocolate obsession (Double-Deckers), Billy the Kid (they’re related), gospel music (future musical direction), photography (a hobby), my love life (yes, mine) into a single conversation.

Her music might not be immediately convincing, especially one particular melody that initially brought to mind the cloying kitsch of anti-folk. But maybe that was Beth’s impetuous element; she has a lot to say and refuses to linger. Beth sings and skips along the ethereal plane between American lo-fi and oddball Brit-folk, in a footloose and fancy-free way. It’s contagious.

“I have favourite musicians, but my influences come from people around me. I get different feelings from people and I translate that into music easily, rather than recreating something I like.”

Photos by Dimitra Taslim
Her band hums her frequency while enjoying themselves. They accord the girl that extra confidence, the sort of room and ease that help a young singer-songwriter loosen up. They’re refreshingly unpredictable: an old suitcase doubles as a kick drum.

Once she's done with the first song, the crowd whispers. It's about the voice, you see. There's genuine perplexity that a voice so full should come from a young, petite girl. Beth’s voice is ravishing, strikingly choral and not miles from Nico at her less austere.

Her intricate arrangements with her use of keyboards and loop-pedals blur the lines of categorisation. She's neither Joni Mitchell nor some new acoustic-folk queen. She’s a playful princess, with an evanescent and experimental edge to her craft. Songs like ‘Francis’ prove she's au fait with a catchy pop hook.

Beth wouldn’t attend university. She shouldn’t want to. She recalls music at A Levels as being “rubbish”, learning about “where different players sit in an orchestra”. Putting Beth in a studio with Ben Hillier (Blur, Doves) for her debut album suggests serious intentions on the part of her record company.

This girl would have Nico’s ‘The Fairest Of The Seasons’ for her death anthem: “I think it’ll make me contemplate my life, be calmer, and appreciate the fact that I’ve lived rather than worrying about death.” She quells any serious doubts about the depth and maturity that a famous 19-year old could show, with class and candor:

“I hope that I’m alone when I die, for fear of seeing the end in another person’s eyes.”


P.S. listen here

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