Arts Desk

Listen: Previously Unheard Music From Velocity Girl and Georgie James

John Davis and Laura Burhenn of Georgie James

D.C.'s abundance of indie rockers-slash-engineers is probably good for lots of things, but on a punishing workday, it's definitely this: Soundcloud ear candy. First up, this previously unheard mix, posted by Velocity Girl's Archie Moore, of the noise-pop band's 1992 suite "Warm/Crawl." WCP office policy usually prohibits recreational streaming, but systems administrator (and Velocity Girl veteran) Brian Nelson gave me a pass:

After you listen to that, send your browser in this direction: Over the weekend, Beauty Pill's Chad Clark shared this outtake from his recording sessions with defunct indie-pop duo Georgie James—a scrapped song called "Simplify" that Clark transformed from a party-starter into something a little more warped. He explains:

“Simplify” was built around a choppy, repetitive guitar figure that faintly evoked ska music, although John said it was more of an impression of the Beatles’ “Act Naturally.” I thought it was a kinetic and catchy song, but I felt the arrangement was relentless in a way I feared was somewhat numbing.

Any band that collaborates with me knows that surprises are part of the journey. And where warranted and invited, I sometimes jump into “5th Beatle” mode. People often end up with re-shaped arrangements, hallucinatory treatments or augmentative stuff. Suddenly there’s a string quartet where none existed yesterday. That kinda thing.

The way I tried to transmogrify the song was to underlay counterpoint melodies with subtle, ambient synthesizers and, most conspicuously, completely interrupt the groove in the second verse. As you will hear here, I removed the bass, drums, guitar and supplanted them with piano and tambourine and quasi-psychotropic treatments. Psychedelia intended primarily to make the song feel unpredictable and also to more literally evoke the "darkened room" described in that verse.

The band’s reaction? They listened multiple times, took a couple of days to contemplate and deliberate and ultimately asserted that, while it was cool, it just didn’t suit their vision of the band. And I had to agree. It was far afield of what Georgie James was about.

His entire meditation on the song is worth reading. Listen while you can! In an email, Clark writes that he'll leave up the song for a while, but not forever—he's bullish on it eventually getting some sort of official release.

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  • Chuck

    Why is Georgie James dude foo-fighting on the hi-hat? You should've 5th Beatled that shit!

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