Camp Cope were responsible for one of the best albums of 2018 with How To Socialise & Make Friends and bandleader Georgia Maq is emerging at the very end of this year with a surprise new solo album, Pleaser. Maq has put out some music under her own name in the past, but this is her debut full-length.
Of course, a big part of Camp Cope’s appeal is Maq’s incredible voice, and on Pleaser she gets to use that voice against an entirely different backdrop than the incisive emo-rock of her main band. She drops the guitar entirely after the first song, instead utilizing zooming synths that lend itself to a poppier sound. Except for two songs, the album was produced by fellow Australian and Run For Cover labelmate Katie Dey — quite an unexpected but satisfying collaboration.
“I took more time to record the songs and play around with them, and I liked that because I could change things and experiment more,” Maq said of the album. “I think the pressure of working with other people drove me to finish the songs, which I hated but also loved because it’s nice to be challenged.”
Most of these are dance-floor ballads, songs focused on love and the simultaneous rush and embarrassment of feeling too much all at once. “You’re so easy to love,” she sings on one track. “Swallowed by the sound/ I burn straight through the ground/ Loving’s easy but profound/ I dream of you and drown.”
Maq uses these pop songs to get across the big, sticky emotions that might not translate to your traditional rock song, offering up a different side of a musician whose lyrics often focus on the politics of what love might mean and instead just giving herself over to the feeling.
Pleaser is out now via Poison City/Run For Cover.