George Maple
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George Maple

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
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"Hear Maribou State's Rejuvenating Remix of George Maple's 'Fixed' | SPIN"

Mondays don't have to be hard. Hell, life doesn't have to be hard. Of course, it is; we know this. But then you stumble upon something like Maribou State's remix of "Fixed," a new song from the Australian singer George Maple, and you briefly forget that tax day is around the corner and it's snowing in March. The metaphorical clouds part, and for five minutes, 27 seconds, and a few dazed moments afterwards, it's as though everything in the immediate vicinity — the walls, the furniture, the riders on the subway — had sprouted into a thick carpet of daisies that are singing quietly just for you.

George Maple is apparently something of a hot property. She appeared on the Australian producer Flume's recent album, singing (and co-writing) "Bring You Down," and she's been working with buzzed-about new-schoolers like Bondax. Like Jessie Ware and Roses Gabor, she's got a voice that sounds great threaded through up-to-the-minute electronic productions. She gives her heavy-hearted soul a much-needed spring in its step, imbuing fluid melodies with elastic little fillips; her multi-tracked harmonies spread out like sunlight run through a prism.

No matter how sumptuous the production, it's a bleak song, a downward spiral of desire against one's better judgment that's rendered as a slow-motion crash and burn, but Maribou State turn it into something light and hopeful. Stripping away the shadows from the original, their rework takes the term "stem" (producer-speak for the discrete parts used in a remix) literally, zooming in on individual elements — a trembling flourish of harp, or a sinewy backmasked guitar — like green tendrils captured in time-lapse photography. Ribbons of Maple's voice become the cushion for a lilting, broken-beat house groove flecked with kalimba and plucked acoustic bass. The beat feels like gravity hiccupping; that glissando is the sound of a thousand frowns turning upside down. A song about fixation becomes a song about things being made whole again. - SPIN


"MIXTAPE: GEORGE MAPLE | Hunger"

Every burgeoning artist worth their harmonies has to put up with being called the new someone, or the ‘next big thing’ and George Maple is no exception – she’s been labelled as the ‘next Jessie Ware’. Could be worse eh? The Australian singer songwriter with a penchant for electro-soul that has now settled in London is set to shake the music industry up this year and give the aforementioned Jessie a run for her money. We catch up with George to find out how she’s coping with the comparisons, and ask her for a cheeky mixtape in the process.

EXPLAIN THE SONGS ON THE MIX TO US, WHY ARE THEY SIGNIFICANT?

I feel like every song I have become addicted to, has in some way, been tied to a person, a conversation or an event I have shared with someone, so I’m hoping this mixtape is the next best thing to sitting around in the early hours, drinking red wine and playing records. Or these days, trawling through YouTube. It was really tough to condense my list down to 10 tracks, these songs are basically a collection of tunes I’ve been listening too lately. Each one was first shown to me by someone who had made an impact on my life, both personally and musically, some of them are current, some are from decades ago, there is very little rhyme or reason to the mix of songs, but I hope people enjoy them and maybe they will discover something new.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALISE THAT YOU COULD SING?

I can’t quite remember but I think I was about nine years old my family and I used to take a skiing holiday in Australia each year (it does snow in Australia). One year, the lodge we were staying at hosted a talent show. I sang that song ‘Colours of the Wind’ from the film Pocahontas; I wore a feather headpiece and brown fringing and I never looked back.

WHAT DID YOU LISTEN TO THE MOST GROWING UP AND WHO HAD THE MOST LASTING INFLUENCE?

When I was young spent a lot of time listening to Tracy Chapman, K.D Lang, Jeff Buckley, Renee Geyer, Ella Fitzgerald, Sade, Ella Fitzgerald, Chris Izaack, Donny Hathaway and Eva Cassidy. Their albums were on high rotation in my parents lounge room. As I began to dedicate more time to music and started earning pocket money, I started buying my own music and listening to Lauryn Hill, Eryka Badu, Damien Rice and Massive Attack. I used to sing cover songs at local restaurants and bars in Sydney, to earn money during high school, so I sang a lot of Marvin Gaye, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, India Arie, Stevie Wonder, the list goes on! When I was old enough to go out to clubs and started hanging out with producers and other musicians I discovered house music and more production based electronic music. I am constantly finding new and old music that inspires me. I think I am influenced by specific sounds, tones, moods, instrumentation and emotions within individual songs rather than one specific artist, but I think the classic voices like K.D Lang and Renee Geyer will always resonate for me.

YOU’VE BEEN COMPARED TO JESSIE WARE – WAS THAT INEVITABLE AND DO YOU SEE THE COMPARISON?

Haha, I think perhaps we may have grown up listening to a lot of the same artists. A few people have mentioned that to me. She’s doing so well and she seems like such a lovely person, I’d love to do work with her at some stage if she’d be up for it! I have always wanted to collaborate with another girl.

WHAT DREW YOU TO THIS GENRE OF MUSIC?

There seem to be new sub-genres born every day, the internet is mental! I suppose the music I am creating at the moment is a patchwork of my influences. I’ve been writing since I was quite young, and I always used to write songs at the piano. When I was 17 I started working with dance producers. I would write and sing songs for my friends over the top of electro house musi and as I began learning more about production, I found it a really enjoyable and exciting way to write music myself – using drums and loops and creating strange sounds with my computer. I find the dynamic between vocals and instrumentals really conversational. I still sit down at the piano to write songs every now and then but I like to be creative and a little bit reckless when I’m composing, I think it’s exciting!

HOW DOES TEH MUSIC SCENE IN AUSTRALIA DIFFER TO LONDON?

There are definitely differences, but I think as online communities grow the divides between the music scenes shrink. People can access music as they want it, as opposed to someone dictating the ‘sound’ of a market. I think there are definitely a lot of parallels developing between the two music scenes and as flights become less expensive, it seems more and more London acts are travelling to Australia to tour which is really exciting. I think Australian music has always been quite rock and folk focused but that is definitely changing as artists like Flume, Chet Faker, Jaguar Ma and Flight Facilities continue to make waves internationally.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOU THIS YEAR?

I’m finishing off my current material, going through the motions of being totally inspired and going slightly stir crazy from being alone for too long in my apartment. I’m just in the final stages of refining the production at the moment. I feel very ready to start sharing the music with people. The next track is coming very soon. I think the live shows will start in April which is something I’m really looking forward to. I can’t wait to perform again. I’ve been working on a few collaborations with Bondax, Snakehips, Juk Juk and Catching Flies that are each quite different and really fun, so they should be released this year too. Lots of magic and fun times I hope.

YOU’VE BEEN IN LONDON FOR A WHILE NOW – WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE HANGOUT?

I probably need to leave the East more often! I spend so much time there. A few of my friends work in hospitality and take me out to these amazing cocktail bars, but I never can remember the name or where I am because there always seem to just be a door. I am really enjoying the warehouse party culture here – it’s something we don’t have in Sydney. Any excuse to dance until the early hours of the morning is fine by me. I also spend a lot of my time here writing instrumentals and demos in coffee shops around Shoreditch and I love Broadway Market on a Saturday and Columbia Road on a Sunday.

WHAT WAS THE LAST ALBUM YOU BOUGHT?

Nicolas Jaar, Space Is Only Noise

WHAT ARE YOU HUNGRY FOR?

This year is looking pretty tasty. - Hunger


"George Maple announces new single 'Fixed' | The 405"

Sydney’s smooth soul George Maple has confirmed the release of 'Fixed', her follow up single to last year's debut track 'Uphill'.

Hailed as "the queen of reined-in electro-soul," she has already received enthusiastic attention and support since collaborating with close friends Flight Facilities, as well as playing a whole host shows around the Europe and U.S. More recently, her contribution to the much-talked-about Flume LP has only increased her positive recognition.

Maple has spent time in the studio with the likes of Juk Juk and Snakehips, and is currently recording and producing more new material. In the meantime, 'Fixed' will be released as a digital download on April 15 through Tuluum. You can watch the electrifyingly surreal video below, or listen to an online stream here. - The 405


"Premier: George Maple, Kilo Kosh & Kwes - Gripp | Dummy"

It's like a match made in 21st century pop heaven: Sydney singer George Maple, New York rapper Kilo Kish and London producer Kwes team up for a sultry slip of a new song titled Gripp. Each artist brings something to the table: Kish's typically coquettishly skit is the perfect foil to Maple's plaintive swooning of "It's all in your head, get a grip", while Kwes' glimmering production rumble and rolls like water.

Gripp is the first offering from new London label Parlez Parlez and you can download the song for free. - Dummy


"GEORGE MAPLE & SLIME – “BEGAN TO SAY” | Pigeon & Planes"

23-year-old singer/producer George Maple has been quietly releasing excellent soul-infused electronic pop for a while now, and her latest is no slouch either. “Began to Say,” her collaboration with fellow UK-based artist Slime, is quite possibly the best thing she’s done yet. Her sleek vocals glide over the twinkling production in a delightfully gentle fashion, while the ever-elusive touch of Slime can be felt predominantly in the production. The blending of the organic and synthetic comes together remarkably well on “Began to Say,” so fingers crossed this is but a hint of what’s to come for both these promising artists. - Pigeon & Planes


"George Maple – Pen Friends Forever | Yours Truly"

Overtaken by romantic ideals, time zones, and lyrical and emotional paradoxes, George Maple writes, “Uphill,” a song that lies somewhere between defeat and victory. Yours Truly wrote the London lady to discuss the bitter and the sweet, and discovered all sorts of shared interests lurking between. Read down below what George responded to our letter, and have a listen to the song that sparked the type-writer romance “Uphill”. - Yours Truly


"George Maple - Fixed | Tracks | Pitchfork"

Australia-born, London-based vocalist George Maple straddles the line of dance music and straightforward pop. Her latest single, “Fixed”, is an earworm that emphasizes Maple's tender, warm register. Her soulfulness is comforting and true, and there’s a longing in her lyrics that can only be found through age and experience, searching for a reciprocity of deep emotion. - Pitchfork


"New Band of the Day - George Maple | The Guardian"

Meet the new queen of reined-in electro-soul who makes Jessie Ware sound like Jessie J

Hometown: London.

The lineup: George Maple (vocals).

The background: George Maple is to Jessie Ware what Eddi Front is to Lana Del Rey – she's a more than decent mini-me, and could operate as an acceptable stand-in at public functions should the real McCoy suddenly be called away on urgent business. Like Eddi, George is a woman with a man's name. And like Jessie, this London-based Australian sings coolly yet soulfully – passionate dispassion, that old trick – over a lushly minimal beat, usually of the downtempo variety. It is a soft and soothing electronic soul that provides an antidote to Skrillex-y EDM, the kind that Ware has been making with her producers Julio Bashmore and Two Inch Punch and that, well, quite a lot of people are making these days, including the excellent Bondax, a pair of producers who record for Justus, the same label as Maple.

Let's be honest: people have been making music like this for years, no matter what modern name it's been given. Has anyone called it Glitch&B yet? No? Probably for the best. We haven't heard anything quite that quirky from Maple yet. In fact, the combination on her debut single Uphill of the gentle patter of percussion and repeated electronic keyboard chords remind us of the backing to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. It's post-the xx, is what it is. It's also very Sade, arguably the queen of this quiet storm-tronica and the template for Ware and Maple's update of ambient/chillout/trip hop. Like we say, really it's just slow synth soul. It's not a new paradigm, just a refinement of the divine. And it's all topped off by Maple's oddly characterless voice, its very blankness being the quality that allows it to fit seamlessly into this softly sultry setting. It can be heard to similarly suitable effect on Bring You Down, a track by the young Sydney producer/prodigy we featured in this column before Christmas. Here, Maple's cameo part is nicely unobtrusive, although she does indulge in some soaring acrobatics towards the end. She is currently in the studio with Bondax and Two Inch Punch among others, recording material for her debut album. Let's hope they keep her reined in and allow the mellow mood to reign.

The buzz: "One to watch? All we'll say is … Jessie Ware's not half started something."

The truth: Meet the new queen of chill&B. Until the next one comes along.

Most likely to: Chill.

Least likely to: Thrill.

What to buy: You can treat yourself to a free download of her song Uphill, which is coming out via Justus.

File next to: Jessie Ware, Bondax, Rhye, AlunaGeorge. - The Guardian


"Discovery : George Maple | Interview Magazine"

GEORGE MAPLE AT SUN STUDIOS IN NEW YORK, MARCH 2013. PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER GABELLO.


George Maple's "Fixed" begins with a pulsing club beat, but then the beat subsides and Maple's sultry vocals take over. Although Maple tells us the song is about "that unrequited love that happens to all of us," you could imagine it as a much more spontaneous story: dancing in a club, catching someone's eye, holding their gaze for a few seconds, and returning to dancing with them in mind. It's an evocative track.

"Fixed" is one of two singles and a handful of collaborations that Maple has released, but it's been enough to gain her a following. "Honestly, everything is surprising," she says when meet her in New York during her tour with Flight Facilities. She's just arrived from SXSW, where she played a showcase with Toro y Moi, via Puerto Rico. "All of my friends from school are in accounting and marketing—things like that, but I just don't think I would have ever been happy. "



AGE: 23

HOMETOWN: I grew up on the Northern Beaches in Sydney. Have you seen a show called Home and Away? It's there. That's what I tell everyone. Did I ever want to be on Home and Away? No. It's a really good way of giving people that you meet a picture or where you're from because immediately they can associate an image.

LIVES IN: London. I've always loved UK garage and that underground music that came out of there. [Moving] felt like the right thing to do. I do it quite a lot—just pack up and leave—because it doesn't really faze me where I live. I like that when I'm writing: new experiences and people and places.

STYLE OF MUSIC: At the moment, I'm obviously influenced by a lot of soul and glitchy beats. There's definitely a bit of trip-hop in there as well. I went on the Internet the other day and I found all of these weird new genres that people have created. Chill-'n'-bass was one of them. [laughs]

THE REAL GEORGE MAPLE: George Maple is my pseudonym. My real name's Jess, but I came up with George because I was a bit freaked out about the idea of using my own name to begin with. Originally it was supposed to be this contrived persona; I started making up stories and I had this real image of what she was. It was this villainous character who's a bit darker than who I naturally am. I realized that I wouldn't be able to sustain that; you could just see straight through it. So I used it as a creative canvas to look at different concepts and things that are a bit far outside of myself. As that's evolved, I've probably become more comfortable talking about things that are close to me and just going, "Oh well, I'm going to put them out there, and I'm fine with being transparent." I think it allowed me to explore concepts that are closer to me. I wasn't honest with myself at the time. I could write about things that weren't necessarily things that I would admit I was feeling, but, retrospectively, when I look at songs it's like, "Yeah, that's definitely from what you were feeling, not George."

FIRST SONG: It was called "I Can't Do Nothing Right" or "Nothing Pleases You." It was basically a rip-off of that Alicia Keys song, "Fallin'."

THE DEBUT ALBUM: I want an album that has a lot of symmetry. When you listen to those old albums, like The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998), it starts off with a real story and it weaves its way through as a sort of theme. I really want to do that with an album. I have about 10 tracks that are ready to go, so I'm going to release them throughout the year through our label, which is called Tuluum. In September, or around that time, I'm going to go away and write an album all at once. I'm going to invite all my friends down and get some cool collaborators and see what happens. Maybe an album won't come out of that, but I want it to be something that's done all at the same time as opposed to all these songs that I've had for a couple of years.

TWITTER TROUBLES: I don't know how many favorites is too much to favorite. I'm not very good with Twitter, is it okay to favorite everything? And then if you start favoriting everything... what if I don't favor someone and they get offended? I'm just surprised every day at how nice everyone is.

POP NOSTALGIA: The first album that spoke to me? It's going to sound so lame, I don't know if I should even say it. I grew up listening to Ella Fitzgerald, and Chris Isaak, such a babe, but such a crooner. [But] do you remember Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful"? I think I'll be shot by all of my cool friends. Stripped was just such a well-crafted pop album. I reckon that was the first one. Do you remember that City High album [City High, 2001]? That album never got the credit it deserved. Even my mum still likes that album. The story telling was so beautiful; they were very honest at the time. Not just about drinking and money and bitches or whatnot. Just about struggle.

DUETS: I'd love to write with someone like Nicolas Jaar. Is he nice? He's so beautiful. Or James Blake, he seems nice. Jai Paul. I could listen "Jasmine" every second. - Interview Magazine


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

The George Maple project was conceived in 2012 as an alias and outlet for Jessica Higgs, already an established vocalist and songwriter under her own name.


Jess’ first recording was 2011’s ‘Foreign Language’, a collaboration with fellow Australian production duo Flight Facilities. It gained healthy radio and online support globally, from the likes of BBC Radio 1, triple j and Radio Nova in France. Touring internationally with Jimmy and Hugo of Flight Facilities allowed Jess to hone her vocal chops in a live context, playing to sold out rooms across Europe and North America.


The first George Maple feature was ‘Bring You Down’ from Flume’s award-winning multi-platinum debut album. The track has since been played to many thousands across the globe as part of Flume’s live show, most memorably with George Maple on live vocals during the Flume headline set at Splendour in the Grass 2013.


George Maple released her first single ‘Fixed’ in January 2013, garnering further support from triple j, Pitchfork and Radio 1. In 2013 George Maple also featured on Deetron ‘Rescue Me’ and Snakehips ‘On & On’, which she also performed live on Radio 1 Xtra with CJ Beatz. Despite very few live performances, George Maple supported Haim at KOKO in London in May 2013. Also a prolific songwriter, Jess has written top-lines for What So Not, Emoh Instead, Hayden James, Goldroom and others.


After 18 months on the road writing in London, New York and Philadelphia, George Maple is readying the release of her debut EP, Talk Talk. Combining her expansive vocal range and lyrical prowess with cutting edge production, Talk Talk blurs the lines between RnB, pop and bass music. The EP also features production from Jimmy2sox (Flight Facilities), Slime and Kwes, as well as a guest verse from American rapper/songstress Kilo Kish.


George Maple’s debut album is also well underway, she has been working with Noah Breakfast (Chiddy Bang) and Gordon Voidwell in the studio. Her first live performances in Australia will be in support of Little Dragon on their sell-out tour in August 2013.

Band Members