wears the trousers magazine

george pringle: salon des refusés (2009)
September 7, 2009, 6:57 am
Filed under: album, review, video | Tags: , , ,


George Pringle
Salon Des Refusés ••••
Deth To Fals Metal

Georgina Pringle started off her musical career by dropping hints – a single here, an EP there, frequently paired with handmade artwork – trickling forth from a champagne flute of gin and tonic, squeezed out of the nauseous recollection of her experiences and unstoppered nostalgia. Like a mixed drink poured into a strange glass, her music causes lifted eyebrows, glinting eyes, intrigued minds, dancing hands and, eventually, intoxication. Having abandoned guitar and other hefty instruments for a GarageBand application on her Mac, Pringle totes her instrumental accompaniment in the form of an iPod that she plugs in at performances. Once the rhythm starts, she speak-sings lyrics into the microphone, her Oxford accent glazing over words that pour out in a gush of journal-style entries. On Salon Des Refusés (‘exhibition of rejects’), her self-released debut album, Pringle delivers on the promise of the past few years with a dozen stories of desperation, drinking and dried-up desire.

The album opens with a ‘Big Screen Kiss Scene’, a short, whirling piece of electronica that sounds like yet another piece of rave music. Several more songs like this one, somewhat flimsy tracks with names like ‘Physical Education (Part 1)’ and ‘Pop Hit’, have clearly been included with satirical purposes but they lose their charm in the face of Pringle’s better creations. While parody is a choice outlet for satisfying smug concertgoers, Pringle’s real allure is in her writing. ‘We Could Have Been Heroes’ and ‘SW10’ are both lyrical masterpieces, Kerouwacky odes to the hollow sounds of suburbia, resignation that comes too soon and Plath-like notes about the world resembling a “mental bank”. She tells these stories as a stranger with access to the inside, lounging on stained sofas and making cynical observations. Her voice is more suited for the words than for the melody, and you can hear her suck in – as if taking a deep, long drag from the burning cigarette of personal experience – and breathe out smoky images wrapped in beats and claps. Pringle fares better with cultural references to actual influences than to pop hits with ‘LCD I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down’, a nod to LCD Soundsystem and a song full of video game trills and acoustics cleverly manipulated into white noise in the last seconds.

Salon Des Refusés hits hard because Pringle hasn’t sold herself to a record label, a social mould or a backup band with an ever-changing, impersonal lineup. Pringle is her own product, raw humour and halogen edge rolled up into a girl who gives rhythm to dark narrative. Having harnessed technology to suit her whims, Pringle faces a more daunting problem – the demand to be fresh and original without sacrificing quality. Small, burnt stories of dimly-lit parties and trashed hotel rooms can only be wrung out so far in beatnik poetry. Pringle’s power lies in her words and her ability to rub them up against each other so that they dance and create the friction that the tired youth are searching for. Now she’ll have to satisfy that craving and by George, it seems like she’s off to an excellent start.

Dalia Wolfson
UK release date: 07/09/09; www.myspace.com/georgepringle


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