You just cannot argue with talent. You cannot fight with the kind of voice that has a range that pierces through the ceiling and bursts into the sky. You cannot deny the kind of vision it takes to create something from nothing but your own voice and the technical bits that actually bring that to life. Not many people take on that fight and come out on top, but busker Tanya George has smashed it out of the park with her debut EP Normality.
I don’t believe anyone will argue with Tanya George, but I’ll stand up and take that fight for her any day, because I’m just that obsessed this EP. By dissecting what ‘normality’ means in the modern world, Tanya has put together a series of incredible experimental tracks that impeccably show off her whopping 4.5-octave vocal range.
The intro track Vocal is just under one minute of pure power, with Tanya taking centre stage with a little shadowy reverb to command your attention – and just in case she hasn’t caught it, she then reaches for the height of her range. An outrageously enviable ability to control that upper register removes any question of squeal, shout or scream. Those notes are clear and comfortably in her reach and she’s there telling her voice exactly where to go.
The first full length track is Writing Machine and where we start to see vocal looping in full force. As the track drops into its depth, you’d be forgiven for questioning whether any instruments have come to play. But no – it’s all Tanya. It’s a song that’s seeking more information, questioning how we’re living. Contesting against the time we spend behind a screen seduced by the ‘Kardashian Machine‘, her calls of ‘where will we go?‘ makes it feel like we wouldn’t even know where to start if we tried. The cold harshness of today’s reality is the centre of this track, where lack of individualism seems anchored in a saturated media and tech world.
We’ve sung the praises of the title track Normality before, but we’ll say it again. The exotically addictive track has everything. It’s so unbelievably contagious that even if you try to stay still, we guarantee you some part of your body will be forced to follow the rhythm, from your toes to your eyebrows. You can catch up on our thoughts on this track here.
Woodland is the only full length track on the EP that was previously unheard. The lyrics feels like a gospel tune, but instead of heading down to the river to pray, we’re going down the woodland. It’s a tale about breaking away rather than coming together. It’s a song filled with the need to escape, the desire to find something better or something more, and just a hint of temptation.
The interlude, Thoughts and Fears, questions the distance between us as we start to blend into a single personality. Face to face communication has become a lost art, replaced instead by pseudo-communication that forgets the heart behind it. A wake up call of sorts, it’s the battle we all think about but barely have the strength to fight.
Seeing out the EP is an eerier track that pulls in the haunting echoes of ancient church hymns and carries emotive drive. My Hymn has the perfect dash of soul-shaking feeling and elongated notes to make it the most timeless track of the EP. Replacing some of the more abrupt vocal beats in previous songs, the swinging lines that flow endlessly into each other create a meditative trans-like experience. It creates the space to be still (and screenless) for a moment, to concentrate on nothing but your thoughts and the sentiment of obscured reality and normality that this EP conveys.
I hope the messages and theme of this EP resonates with my listeners, and maybe even inspires some level of unity. I wanted to challenge the normality of music but blend it with familiarity. There are topics which worry me, lyrics which drive me and harmony ideas which surprise me. I wanted to create entirely different music and push my musicianship and my ability as a vocalistTanya George
Stream Normality or watch the official video for the title track below:
Posted by Rebecca Costanzo