This is going to sound a little awkward, but George Maple’s voice is at once matronly and comforting, but also very seductive and sharp at just the right times. She manages to create a hypnotic atmosphere to tell her story through, slowly drawing the listener in, piece by piece. It’s like warm whiskey and honey, but for your ears.
George Maple is a persona created by native Australian Jess Higgs, as a means to talk about the truths and experiences of her life without, you know, calling people out by name. Even though she relocated to London, she makes up the second wave of Australian talent coming to light after the likes of Flight Facilities, Flume, What So Not, Anna Lunoe showed the world what the country was capable of.
“The most fun I’ve had in a one-piece.”
Her approach to songwriting is not unlike BANKS, who also collaborated with a diverse group of young, electronic producers who manage to provide a bed of sound perfectly suited to her voice. The standout track of the EP is “Talk, Talk,” produced by fellow Australian Flume, a gorgeous and perfect three and a half minutes of soft synths and muted beats washed in her sweet, though ghostly-sounding voice. If her voice sounds hauntingly familiar, it’s likely you’ve heard “Bring You Down,” off Flume’s own debut in 2012.
So what’s the lesson, or the take-away? Jess Higgs has an incredible voice, and could absolutely make some perfectly legitimate R&B or nu-Soul music. She has a lot of stories to tell, so she could easily transfer to Blues as well. But she didn’t. She found a fresh group of talented musicians and worked with them to create something fresh, something that compliments her voice and her lyrics. So this Sunday, avoid the obvious or the easy answers. No more low-hanging fruit.
Her ‘Vacant Space’ EP is available on vinyl through future classic, or digitally everywhere.