Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

Georgia – About Work the Dancefloor

I’m in the corner, thinking about work the dancefloor…


Will Adams: We know how the dancefloor works: synth bass pumping like blood, text turned mantra through repetition, desperation all around. The details are what make it really work: tension cut by Knife-esque flourishes, stakes constantly raising (“what if this moment didn’t stick” becomes “now our hearts have a beat that doesn’t stick”) and the glorious third act, where the cascading melody is finally given its words: “mo-o-o-o-ments with youuuu!” I’ve had these dancefloor experiences, and it sounds exactly like this: ecstasy against a backdrop of sadness.

Iris Xie: The song launches like spun sugar cracked upon lucite floors, but it’s Georgia’s vocals that come in and melt it all down into a warm lushness. The pangs of her longing, fused together with regret about her inadequacy, slip away into the chorus, where the motif cleverly takes over and orbits around the line: “I was just thinking about work the dancefloor.” The throbs of the synths work together with the chorus to create an armored wall that protects Georgia’s sentiments, but the chime of the melody ends up betraying her real feelings. This theme is further developed with the wonderful start of the next verse, “Finally my heart slipped / Finally I found something new,” which allows the song to grow both sides of her conflicted feelings, so it can collapse and merge into the last verse. Now, Georgia’s sentiments can no longer be contained and break through the wall, overlaying her soaring coos of “moments with you” together with the motif. Finally, she acquiesces to her feelings and desires, concluding the song with a newfound acceptance. Overall, it’s lovely songwriting that is patient about its trajectory and has a strong clarity and purpose to its various elements that helps guide the listener around to the experience of her feelings. This is all without losing the atmosphere of a heady dancefloor, which is a perfect place to both dance, think, and dancing while trying to not think — a cocoon for clarifying confused feelings.

Alfred Soto: With a libretto this specific, it’s up to the beatmakers to woo listeners to the dance floor, and on that basis “About Work…” fails. The synths nod toward Chvrches, the vocals toward Robyn, the rest spongy enough to talk over. 

Katherine St Asaph: So little music shamelessly panders to me anymore that I love it a bit too much when something does pander to the Indiana/Body Talk/early-Madonna corner of my taste, even if “About Work the Dancefloor” gets there via “My Girls” and a chorus that’s less emotion than Wheel of Fortune clue.

Ian Mathers: Is it weird to posit a hybrid between synthpop and full-on techno? It seems like any given example would inexorably slip over to one side or the other, but the very glory of “About Work the Dancefloor” is that it never quite does, and its full-throated embrace of both at the same time is incredible, making for the first song in a long while that’s made me think of both Robyn and The Research.

Nortey Dowuona: A thick, heavy bassline cycles in a circle on flat, pedestrian drums with Georgia on its shoulders, juggling tiny synthesizers.

Stephen Eisermann: Someone contact the music guy for Black Mirror; I found the perfect track to play in the “San Junipero” sequel that is begging to be made. Like the episode, this song is nostalgic, performed well, and makes me feel some type of way — but in a good way. An everyone-deserves-to-cry kind of way. 

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: “About Work the Dancefloor” is a song written for music critics to love — Robyn-esque aesthetics, a cryptic hook with as many possible meanings as a Rorschach blot, dance beats on a song that’ll never get played in the club itself — and I think I hate it. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with its construction (except that hook, which never gains an ounce of profundity no matter how many times Georgia repeats it), but in its laziness and lack of originality. “About Work the Dancefloor” couches itself in the stylistic trappings of a thousand bygone sad disco bops, but it’s not clear what the song in itself is about. There’s no depth here, nothing to stick with you other than the pulsations of a beat you’ve heard before. It’s elevator music for people who think of themselves as beyond elevator music. I hated the acoustic cover of “Dancing on My Own” that became briefly omnipresent a few years back, but that at least revealed the skill of Robyn’s songwriting. I can’t imagine an acoustic cover of this.

Scott Mildenhall: Distracted from daily drudgery by dancing — for interpreting the chorus as two overlapping phrases seems the best way to explain it, impecuniousness and all — Georgia thrives where many fail in the art of listening to Robyn. Granted, there’s more to this than its pulse, but its pulse — its humanity — is its heart. Unexpected noises and an unexplained title up the quirk quotient, but it would be just as palpable were it called “Moments With You”.

Isabel Cole: I spent the first 45 seconds convinced I had found my song of the summer, only to trip over its refusal to provide an actual chorus for, like, conceptual reasons. When it’s good it’s fucking great — soaring synths! sparkling melancholy! heart/dance beat imagery! clear-voiced melancholy! — but I just cannot countenance that behavior.

Iain Mew: Georgia sings with a bright clarity, dashed with just a hint of uncertainty, that’s perfect for the classic synth-pop in a similar way to recent Tegan & Sara. The way the backing crunches its way through a couple of imposed glitches is thrilling, and putting that in the same song as “now our hearts have a beat that doesn’t stick” but not feeling the need to make them coincide tells of a positive balance and wisdom.

Taylor Alatorre: There’s something uncanny about this that I can’t quite place. It’s far from the first attempt to capture the heart-pounding sentimentalism of Peak Robyn, and it won’t be the last, but it’s done so assiduously that I don’t mind that I’m listening to a copy of a copy. Maybe the uncanniness is because, though it still relies on refracted nostalgia for an imagined 1980s as its prime mood-setting mechanism, most of its audience will have stronger mental associations with artists like Robyn and Chvrches than with the New Order songs that inspired them. The cycles of memory made it inevitable this would happen, so might as well make the best of it. “About Work the Dancefloor” comes off as utterly sincere in its desire to hit the right buttons to deliver the right emotions, almost as if apologetic for the scaffolding being visible. The apology works.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: I love waking up in the middle of the night after feeling well-rested and realizing I still have hours left before needing to get ready for work. What I often do at this point is put a song on repeat and let it play from my phone speakers as I drift back to sleep. In those few minutes, the throbbing pulse of “About Work the Dancefloor” felt like the most revitalizing bit of music I’d heard in a long time.

Reader average: [7.75] (8 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

7 Responses to “Georgia – About Work the Dancefloor”

  1. I like this song! But it should be transcendent and it just isn’t.

  2. yeah, for me [8] to [9] is generally “is it transcendent?”

  3. for me, fwiw, the issue is that it shoots so hard for transcendence that it ends up looking silly when it fails

  4. i maintain it would be transcendent (for a definition of transcendent exclusive to the personal experience of Me, A Big Dummy Who Is Easy To Please) if it had opted out of being cute and just given us a dang chorus

  5. I suggest listening to this song while you’re delirious from a heat wave, definite 9 material to cut through the oppressive weight of the temps

  6. (But I can understand why the chorus would make it an 8, I think I just like the verses way too much.)

  7. The chorus is the bit I’ve had looping in my head for a week; not surprised others didn’t like it as much as I did and do, but slightly surprised that was what divided us.