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Georgia Marley chats her new album, sexuality, and Australian Idol

If you enjoy indulging in unique and groovy sounds with hints of folk and electronica, then Georgia Marley is the artist for you. Her smooth guitar sounds accompanied by lush vocals and hard-hitting lyrics will transcend your singer-songwriter expectations and deliver something excitingly unexpected.

Marley has released her debut album Yearning, and it’s time to listen up and learn more about this artist’s journey. This is the kind of music you are guaranteed to enjoy, while probably being able to relate to at the same time.

Photos: Sophie Hill

Georgia Marley has taken her personal experiences and produced her DIY album Yearning incredibly well. Each and every song is raw, homely, warm, and honest.

“In the past couple of years, I’ve been coming really into my sexual identity. I identify as a queer woman and that started being really obvious last year… so I wrote my first gay songs last year, and then I went overseas and I had this moment where I was like, oh, my god… Women,” Marley explained about the meaning behind the album and specifically its fourth track, Enjoy the View.

Taking inspiration from the likes of Daughter’s Elena Tonra, Camp Cope’s Georgia Maq and Julia Jacklin, Marley has spent years experimenting with her own style before putting together what is now her debut album. Georgia also mentions DIY group Soccer Mommy and alt-rock artist Alex Lahey as leading inspirations.

“Initially I started with such an acoustic indie singer-songwriter folk sound, and now I’ve like definitely headed into more electronic vibes, I mean, I feel like genre is dead anyway and people should be able to do whatever they want. But I just think it’s really interesting because from the moment I started using Ableton, my whole style changed. I just think that’s interesting.”

Yearning is filled with real hard truth and vulnerability, with lyrics like “Please don’t leave me as number two / Let me wrap up your heart and stick it to mine with glue”; one of the most eerily beautiful lyrics I’ve heard from a young singer-songwriter. Her latest single Radiators also serves some seriously good lyrical content, singing “Radiators don’t do shit anymore / I need skin on skin to keep me warm”.

Image: Sophie Hill | @sophie.jpg

Georgia explains that her lyrics are extremely personal and that she’d rather people not ask her specifically about them. “Just listen to it while you’re reading a book… have it on in the background. Listen to it if you want, but just don’t tell me,” she says.

“I kind of want there to be an air of mystery but also, at the same time, I want people to ask me about it, but I don’t want to have to answer their questions.”

The talented artist attributes credit to Information Cultural Exchange in Parramatta and their weekly workshops for emerging artists. The free workshops featured a range of mentors including Antonia Gauci (who ended up mixing Marley’s first single I Hope This Feeling Doesn’t Last) and artists like Lupa J and Rainbow Chan.

“I feel like for me at least, the way that I learn how to do different styles is that I listen to the songs and then cover them, and then it’s something that I can translate into my own work. I just love songwriting,” Marley explains.

Her passion for music stems back to childhood, where she would watch Australian Idol and say to her mum, “that’s gonna be me one day”. What started out as a dream to become a singer turned quickly into being a fully-fledged musician who played guitar and wrote her own songs.

“I’ve just literally wanted to do it my whole life and I cannot think of one other thing I would want to do really.”

Looking back on her experience creating original music, Georgia laughed as she remembered a time in year 11 where they were told to write a song for an assessment.

“It was super angsty because, high school angst, and I wrote a song called What Was the Point, like, that’s literally how angsty it was. I put it on my Tumblr account and it got 500 listens or something. And I was like, what? Oh, okay I can make music. It was weird.”

Image: Sophie Hill | @sophie.jpg

Before she started releasing music as Georgia Marley, Georgia had put out a song in 2018 titled If I Ask under the pseudonym George. The song has since been taken down, however, Georgia admits that she has re-recorded it since.

“My friend has been really pressuring me to redo it. And I actually did rerecord it a few weeks ago, but it’s very different now. I might finish it, you never know. But it was trash [before].”

So why listen to Georgia Marley’s debut album?

Yearning is a sad yet awakening album which combines the incredibly smart, thoughtful and unique lyrics of Georgia Marley with experimental instrumental sounds that are all pulled together so smoothly. Georgia’s smooth vocals make the album easy to listen to over and over and leave you with a sense of yearning.

Also, did I mention the entire album bar the first track is also mixed by Georgia herself!? Plus, the album is available through Bandcamp for digital download, alongside a limited edition cassette (how cool!) and zine designed by Geraldine Buzzo. Awesome stuff.

I would highly recommend listening to this in a warm bubble bath with a glass of wine and some scented candles any time you just need to lye back and breathe.

Stream Yearning on Spotify below.

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June 15, 2020