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GEORGIA MAQ Pleaser gets 6.5/10


Georgia Maq
Pleaser
Poison City

6.5/10

In a world dominated by social media, it’s nothing new for artists to promote their releases on various platforms. But to release a surprise debut album with no lead up is rare. That’s exactly what Georgia Maq has done, however. As frontwoman of Melbourne’s feminist punk trio Camp Cope, solo album Pleaser could not be more surprising. With a fresh take on pop music and love songs, the synth-heavy release boasts eight tracks carried through with soft, blissful melodies and clever hooks.

After undergoing several vocal surgeries and subsequent voice training, Georgia Maq’s voice remains unmatched and unlike any other artist today. Opening the album is the sweet and emotional Away From Love, which follows Maq walking away from a problematic relationship. As the only track featuring guitar, this strategically placed opener showcases poignant lyrics such as “At least I built the hill on which I’ll die” and only hints at the new sound to come.

As Pleaser progresses, each song gets better and better with Easy to Love slotting in towards the back end of the album and sitting as one of the stronger tracks. Moody and poetic, it explores a love that in Maq’s words is so easy, it’s annoying. Crafted entirely on GarageBand, the pulsing synths almost outshine the frustratingly held-back vocals.

You’ll Be Singing My Name seemingly comments on her tumultuous past relationships and journey to self-love. With lyrics that will stay in your head for days such as “Staring at your arm tattoos/ Wish I could mean that much to you”, this track is undoubtedly the strongest on the album in every way. The lyrical storytelling, matured vocals and pop backing make this track the standout in her solo discography.

Concluding the collection is Big Embarrassing Heart, rounds out an eight-song journey with an open-armed Georgia Maq welcoming back a certain love. It’s a repetitive track taking on the more traditional pop structure but provides an ending to the record and finds its place in this way.

Pleaser doesn’t tackle political or social issues, rather it focuses on romantic and self-love with a distinctive personal feel to each track. Part of this feeling comes from the homemade feel of the album, with Maq sampling and creating directly from GarageBand on her laptop. In some aspects, the album can feel one dimensional and lacks a certain level of depth in the storytelling that we have come to expect from her songwriting. But while this pop-driven solo project strays far from Camp Cope in both message and delivery, that’s not to say they won’t have mutual fans. With Maq’s unique vocals and background, this standalone album remains an exciting and surprising release.

AMBER LILLEY

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