The first thing that struck me about The Georgia Flood’s new single is the slick studio sheen. Every note and production decision is calculated and precise, but there’s plenty of breathing room for frontman Brooks Mason’s dusty croon to take center stage. It brings to mind the meticulousness and immediacy of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” without the glitz, or My Morning Jacket’s “Touch Me, I’m Going to Scream” Part 3, if that song actually existed. The self-described “American Rock band, drenched with roots and soul” lets the individual elements and their pointed arrangement drive the tune from the get-go.
Electric piano, bass, and funk-inflected guitar does most of the work on “Better Not Together,” and the poignant, workman-like lyrics take up just the space they need. “Where do we go from here? / Well, I don’t know, but I tell you something / So many times before you told me I didn’t mean nothing” Mason croons with a playfulness that would seem out of sorts if it weren’t delivered so confidently. The guitar solo, sitting pretty much where you expect it to, is a soulful and raucous payoff for a song that is somewhat dichotomous as both an exercise in restraint and a sandbox of studio wizardry.
If this is what we can expect from the rest of their upcoming EP, sign me up for all of it. There is remarkable promise in “Better Not Together,” a fine triumph over the crumbling relationship that seems to have been the impetus behind the song’s creation. Emerging on the other side of what was likely a painful journey, Mason and his brother Lane Kelly seem to know exactly where they’re heading musically, even if their romantic lives are up in the air. It isn’t revolutionary work, but that is hardly the point. These guys trade in rock and roll, but just like the genre has always done, they mine other sounds like roots music, soul, and funk for the ideas that ultimately propel the track be its best. On “Better Not Together,” mission accomplished.
“Better Not Together” is out September 2. It is the first of three singles that will be released as a lead-up to their debut EP, People Like Ourselves, due out this fall.