An artist can never go wrong with barebones honesty. On “Reflection” George Barnett manages to fit words together that spark a reaction, and the root of that reaction is the emotional rawness of his lyrics. The refrain includes the almost shocking lyric “So if I’m coming off as a dick…” that just punches you in the face and causes you to share a moment with George where you’re like yeah… sometimes I totally do dick-ish things. It is great songs like these that help a listener develop a more personal relationship with an artist.
I made at least 20 different variations for this mixtape cover, and I showed my friends the different versions and gathered opinions on each cover. This one was always my personal favorite, but literally no one else’s. So why was it selected? Well, probably because I’m stubborn–but also because there is something to be said for sticking with your guts. There is a basic instinct that comes with any creative endeavor and everyone might not appreciate it at first (or ever), and that’s okay as long as it reflects a piece of you.
I told a musician friend that art is an energy you have to learn to control, and now I’m not really sure I agree with that. Lately, I’ve been thinking about what makes a classic album (you know, trying to create a classic mix for ya), and I actually think what makes a classic album is an artist unleashing his or her unique (sexual [...sorry]) energy in an untempered environment. For this mix I tried to start at the base level (“The Floor”) and find these really unique artists with extremely recognizable styles to create this really gritty, powerful hour of music. Also, it’s kind of dancy, which is mostly why it’s called “The Floor.”
- Sydney in Theory – Diamonds & Dirt
- George Barnett – Down on Me
- Benin City – Wha Gwan
- ASTR – R U with Me
- Sylvan Esso – Play It Right
- Hayden James – Embrace
- holychild – Happy with Me
- Lime Cordiale – Sleeping at Your Door
- Lolawolf – Drive
- The Hard Knocks – Coast
- Ben Khan – Eden
- Jagga – Hold Me
- CliffLight – Summer of Sin
- RÁJ – Ghost
- Body Language – Charm
- John Wizards – Muizenberg
- High Highs – A Real Hero (College Cover)
- Twin Shadow – Old Love / New Love
- Great Good Fine Ok – You’re the One for Me
- Bipolar Sunshine – Love More Worry Less
- Lontalius – Furthest Thing (Drake Cover)
What am I supposed to say? An old love called me yesterday.
Our favorite multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter-producer-legend George Barnett announced his first mixtape The Red Tape just 8 days ago and now we have the project, and it is unbelievably fun. Like, just listen to some of the stuff on here. Let’s see, we got a Jeremih cover that also samples Pusha T‘s “Numbers on the Boards” (on tape highlight “Down on Me”), a few Perks of the Wallflower movie soundbites, a heartbreaking rendition of Lana Del Rey‘s “Ride,” a snippet of a new original track called “Animal Keeper” accompanied by a clever fake phone call with his manager (“You want a hit? Two words for you: twerking”), a surprisingly faithful cover of Kendrick Lamar‘s “Swimming Pools (Drank),” and an angelic outro that will probably make you instantly at peace with your God. I’m serious.
And somehow through the seemingly hectic tracklist, the project remains true to its creator and cohesive as an independent piece of music. The transitions are flawless, and the covers are devastatingly beautiful and original takes on established songs. For most artists the task of covering Daft Punk would have them in creative ruins, but George Barnett just takes it all in stride and elevates hit songs to new levels and makes them, in the least clichéd way possible, “his own.”
Here’s the second cover today of Daft Punk and Pharrell‘s “Get Lucky.” While Daughter created a slow, sensual cover of the original track, George Barnett recreated the song from scratch and videotaped himself doing it all along. It’s even got some fun production built in, which makes for a fun experience to watch. I almost feel a bit like I’m seeing George perform live – his energy is contagious. You can’t hate a guy for shaking the eggs with determination. Alright, so that’s two covers that I’m a fan of. I might even like this version more than Daughter’s just because you can see the entire making of the remix. (And if this pattern of good covers continues, I promise to make a list-version post about them so I can rank them.) I already loved George Barnett a LOT, but he just took it up one more notch. Keep going, mate.
It’s sort of disheartening when people write off entire genres of music. They do not seem to realize the vast similarities between most of these genres. With this cover, SITR favorite George Barnett displays just how fluidly a rap track can be translated into an all out rock song. It’s kind of amazing; check it out.
BONUS! Check out his highly recommended Where The Devil Sleeps EP, which dropped late last year and was inexplicably ignored by us. Sorry.
When I first discovered George Barnett, I felt as though I had stumbled upon a gold mine. To this day, I love to kick back and listen to George’s music. It’s grand, it’s stunning, it’s representative of modern art, and it’s full. It makes for a great listen, so if you haven’t yet gotten into George Barnett’s music, I highly recommend you check him out. Listen to our interview below. We asked George questions about his songwriting process, specific songs from ‘17 Days,’ what his plans for the future are, what he’d do with $1 million, and more. He even sang a little freestyle clip about Sunset in the Rearview at the end! It was great getting to speak with George – do yourself a favor and listen to his music!
I stumbled across a new artist today by the name of George Barnett while perusing the submissions that we receive. I’m going to play a little game with you guys. It’s called 2 truths and 1 lie. I’m about to list three bullet points. Two of them are going to be true, and one is going to be a lie. It’s up to you to guess which one is the lie. Ready?
1. George Barnett is only 18 years old
2. George Barnett has performed with Blind Pilot and Vampire Wekend
3. George Barnett plays every single instrument on this song and the entire rest of the album, 17 Days
So. Which ones are true and which one is a big fat lie?
If you take that approach, I wouldn’t really say any of them are a big fat lie. The truth is, #2 isn’t totally true. Well, maybe it’s not true at all. But the thing is, it’s reasonable. Though it might be unbelievable that George Barnett is only 18 years old and he plays every instrument on the album, it doesn’t seem that far off that George could be playing with the likes of Blind Pilot and Vampire Weekend. His talent appears to be boundless, and it’ll just be a matter of gaining more recognition amongst bloggers and other forms of press before he gets signed. I’m 100% sold on George Barnett already. I can’t wait until he does share the stage with the likes of Blind Pilot and Vampire Weekend and I get to say “I knew it.”
Click on the album artwork to listen to the full album, 17 Days, by George Barnett