Stagger in blind to those musicians you know nothing of. Having streams and screeners sent in advance is a wonderful way to discover who or what is taking hold of the vibrant melodies not in the public eye. Those sounds and styles which should be front and centre, as George FitzGerlad showcases on their latest EP, Not As I. What a charming time it is to head into Not As I and be startled by what sounds like a Samsung Galaxy phone alarm. Pills meet moments as FitzGerald brings about their producing and lyrical style in one neat, four-track package. Why be a minimalist when all the tools are there for the taking? Not As I is evidence of using lots, convincing a listener you can be “explosive,” and never quite showing it.
For all the talk on Mother of big things to come, they never arrive. You can be as explosive as you like so long as the beat matches it. Sharp production is a little lacking here although the intention is to showcase variety. Not As I does create some new mixtures of instrumental quality, the plonking notes suffocating what could be heartfelt lyrics. FitzGerald uses this as a palette of possibilities and neither feels all that incredible. Fine enough electronic energies pop and grind away at the ears, but it is hard to feel much placement for them. There is no doubting the heartfelt endeavours of an artist here but FitzGerald has made music which would not sound out of place in the backlog of video game soundtracks which enlist electronics as sound padding.
Not As I breaks free from this somewhat with its title track, but it is a heavy road to travel. Speaking of roads, All Roads rounds off the EP nicely. It is strong background music but engaging it further on, the electronic whines and groans chugging away while in focus, is a tough one to crack. There is something about this last track though, the disconnected voices, and the frequencies detailed throughout, which makes it worth sticking around for. Something about it grips the heart. All Roads may just have three and a half minutes to shake itself around but what a treat it makes for. Well worth the wait, and another cycle through coughs up those little shimmers, the softer spots which work as a tender-yet-important focus for FitzGerald.
Fine enough electronics which never tend to build but keep, in the back of some work-from-home minds, sounding like a Google Chat notification. Losing sleep over that and panicking about it is never a nice feeling, although Mother does not seem to care. Not As I struggles to bring its personable opener to much of the other three tracks and when it does finally, delicately manage to build, it is over. Bundle it over the line and get it listened to, fifteen minutes of spotty indifference which has love and earnestness pumped into it. Fair play, it is what it is and what it is, is fine electronics and a range of decent, stylish work from FitzGerald.