Interview with Dear Georgiana

Third Time's The Charm

By: Sam Kogon

April 30, 2014

" ... I wrote them alone and they were inspired by break-ups and living alone for the first time in my entire life. "

Dear Georgiana is the music of Brooklyn-based and Alabama-born Lauren Balthrop. If Patsy Kline had lived past 1963 and made a record produced by Barry Gordy, you would have probably been able to compare the two chanteuses. This is not the first musical project for Lauren, in fact, she is well seasoned in the NYC scene, having performed in numerous bands such as Balthrop, Alabama and The Bandana Splits. This is however her first solo endeavor, and possibly the most well conceived of all. 

You're originally from Alabama. Now, like so many other musicians, you've found yourself residing in Brooklyn.  Do you feel that Brooklyn inspires you to write music? Or could it be that living away from Alabama is what inspires you more? 

I've always wanted to live in the city since I was a kid and now I've been here 7 years, it feels like home. I'm constantly inspired by the city and the artists I'm surrounded by. Sometimes the city can be overwhelming, but that's also a source of inspiration. I haven't written that much about my experience coming from the south but you can hear hints of it in 'Nowhere to Be' off my album.

While this may be Dear Georgiana's debut, you've come a long way, musically speaking, playing and touring in numerous bands. Did you always that know you'd end up pursuing a solo career or are you more moment-to-moment when approaching the music you make?

My solo project was born from this batch of songs I had written and they didn't really have a place in my other bands Balthrop, Alabama and The Bandana Splits. They really were something altogether different than the music I was writing with those projects because I wrote them alone and they were inspired by break-ups and living alone for the first time in my entire life.  

It's hard to come up with a band name, especially a moniker for a solo project. Can you tell us where the name "Dear Georgiana" originated form? 

I had trouble deciding on this name. Georgiana is a small town in Alabama where Hank Williams is from. My stage name in Balthrop, Alabama is Georgiana Starlington and for a long time, my solo project also went by that name until ironically another band from Brooklyn was using the same name and rather than going into legal dealings with them over the name, I decided to change my name because I already had a release date for my album and just wanted to continue on. My friend Edwina who did the artwork for my album actually came up with "Dear Georgiana" and I liked it so much I decided to keep it. 

Your influences seem fairly rooted in folk, but there are moments of french 60's pop ("Over You"), as well as elements of electro pop as heard on "Wanna Be In Love". You seem to bring all of these genres together comfortably. Can you tell me some of your biggest influences are? Is it safe to say Patsy Cline and Lulu? 

I grew up listening to Patsy Cline for sure and the Everly Brothers, Andrew Sisters, of course the Beatles and 60's pop rock.

What's your favorite venue to play in Brooklyn/NYC? 

I love playing at Rockwood Music hall. Their new stage 3 is a dream listening space and everyone that goes there is so attentive and its just a beautiful room that makes you feel like you're in someone's cabin.