Next Wave #1134: Georgia Gets By

Opening old wounds to secure solo truths...

“Out of all the music I was making, this made me feel the most me.” This is how artist Georgia Notts, one half of New Zealand electronic pop titans BROODS, describes her new solo project Georgia Gets By. Her debut EP ‘Fish Bird Baby Boy’ is due for release on October 6th and it sees her depart from BROODS’ refined sound to a stunningly intimate aesthetic. She’s been quietly working away at it for years; tackling past turmoil and hard-fought personal growth in some of her most personal material to date, never originally anticipating for it to be shared with the world. Now, that has all changed.

“It’s been really fun to play with this new vibe and lean into my sad-girl-with-a-guitar energy,” Georgia smiles. “It definitely forced me to be more sure of myself. Coming into the music industry at 19-years-old didn’t set me up to be super confident, so it was a nice opportunity to feel like ‘okay, the buck stops with me now’. I had to back my own choices.”

This spirit of independence underpins Georgia Gets By. Living a nomadic lifestyle moving and recording between Los Angeles, New York and New Zealand, Georgia found herself “opening old wounds” and rekindling the feeling of making music as an outlet rather than for her career. “It made me see the value of being honest in my music,” she says. “I was a bit more daring with the storytelling because I knew I wasn’t trying to hide it within a pop song or whatever it may be. Things like old relationships, being a kid and not really sure who I was… It was really helpful for me, even though I didn’t think anyone would hear it at first which meant I didn’t hold back.”

Fusing folk driven minimalist approaches with choppier guitar moments, ‘Fish Bird Baby Boy’ is a stunning body of work, with each of its five pockets of sound opening an introspective door into Georgia’s psyche. Moody guitar lines and lush vocal harmonies take centre stage in ‘Easier to Run’, a track that Georgia explains was all about working with catharsis and “getting shit out of [my] system.”

With the tender EP opener ‘Oh Lana’, her gripping storytelling comes to life as she talks about her experiences of having her first queer crush as a kid while at a Catholic school. “’Oh Lana’ is about that moment of experiencing these undeniable feelings both back then and in my adult life,” she says. “I was young at the time and I had this friend who I had a crush on, but I didn’t really understand what was going on because I grew up in a time and a place where it wasn’t really encouraged to like other girls. Now, I’m in a position where I can own it and it’s nice to be myself.”

The accompanying music videos for ‘Easier to Run’ and ‘Happiness Is An 8 Ball’ add further depth to Georgia’s project. Their hauntingly stark visuals contrast with each song’s thrashier sound, taking inspiration from 70s queer director Chantal Akerman. “The paralysing feeling behind anger and confusion was what we were trying to portray in the videos,” says Georgia. “Personally, I feel things so intensely internally, but on the surface look calm and unfazed. I also think it’s a real feminine thing, this restraint and then release; constantly trying to keeping it together and then just ‘raahhhh!’ when the pot boils over.” 

With another EP already written, it won’t be long before the next chapter of Georgia Gets By takes shape. But with her debut arriving and the prospect of live shows on the horizon, Georgia reflects on what she’s most proud of with her new project. “Because it’s been in the works for so long, every part of the process has had its own story,” she says. “On the whole, I just feel so well represented. That’s the thing I’m most proud and terrified of, because I’m putting exactly myself out there.”

‘Fish Bird Baby Boy’ will be released on October 6th through Luminelle Recordings.

Words: Jamie Wilde
Photo Credit: Silken Weinberg

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