‘From dreamlike to dramatic, it perfectly reflects the ups, the downs, and the nothingness of mental health.’
Intro to Georgia & The Vintage Youth
As their name suggests, Georgia & The Vintage Youth are a band heavily swayed by days gone by. Soaked in influences ranging from Janis Joplin and Amy Winehouse, they encapsulate the best of genres ranging from swing to soul, without being a carbon copy of those from before. And the past year has truly highlighted just how successfully they can do this. Failing to let rebounding lockdowns dampen the band’s momentum, 2020 saw them deliver ‘If I Can Dream’ and ‘Loving’ You’, while this year has already seen the arrival of six-track EP ‘Overthinker’. Lifted from that very release, and proving just how outstanding it is as a single, Colour Blind – a track where Georgia’s vocal prowess truly blows us away – signals that there is indeed bright future ahead for her and her Vintage Youths.
Just how do you describe sensations of nothingness or numbness? The answer is with great difficulty. But, when you listen to ‘Colour Blind’, you realise that this may be the best way. Likening hollowness to seeing the world in black and white, Georgia & The Vintage Youth capture the highs, lows and nothings of mental health. An acknowledgement that it’s not all ups and downs is much needed, and so is their encouragement for listeners to check up on their friends. To paraphrase Georgia herself, perhaps now more than ever before, we really should ‘Notice what their eyes are saying as opposed to just the words they speak.’
Opening with a harmonic chorus of soft voices and light guitars, the track initially carries an almost dreamlike edge. Lullaby-tinged instrumentals and genteel vocals have the listener swaying. It feels romantic and nostalgic, and references to intentions such as ‘his name is a cloud’ and ‘rainbow in a leather jacket’ bring attention in a subtle, heavenly stylish way. Without any real hint of drama, a sense of purpose is found and while this can be hard to achieve, here it is achieved with aplomb. Likewise, as we journey through the rest of the track – the section that Georgia actually wrote first – the atmosphere truly transforms.
Working as both a nod to her love of anything vintage, and a reflection on mental health, on reaching the halfway point of the track we hear the voice of Marilyn Monroe. Spoken rather than sung, this archive interview recording acts as a most appropriate way to separate, yet blend the two sides of the song. However, highlighting that this is a much-considered element, the soundbite ‘I’m not just generally happy, if I’m generally anything then I guess I’m generally miserable’ was chosen by Georgia as she believed it to be a cry for help. A representation of how we laugh off struggles with mental health in a way that is ultimately damaging to our wellbeing.
Building on this, as the track continues the drumbeat takes on a much more central role in the sound, becoming harsher and pushing the tempo. Beautifully leading the song toward its more nightmarish qualities, an expanse of texture filled with expressive and emotive elements emerges. A dominating, darker edged tone continually grows to create complex, horn-infused sonic drama. Alone this really would be something. However, with Georgia’s vocals turning from syrupy to soaring, and a tangible, emotionally driven rawness overflowing as she belts ‘I don’t wanna die, just tired of feeling colour blind’ it becomes truly goosebump-inducing.
Guest Writer Feature by Ella McLaren