George Riley - cleanse me
Released: March 2021 Label: Independent
‘cleanse me’ is the hauntingly beautiful new single from West London based vocalist and producer, George Riley.
Throughout an intimate 3 minute journey we visit themes of restoration, remembrance, growth and vulnerability all of which merge into subby bass beneath increasing chromesthesia -production courtesy of Oliver Palfraymen.
"I remember sunny days,
Now the rain washes my tears away,
Come again and we can play the same game,
If you want it to end the same way"
These lyrics suggest to me a state of euphoria tinged by sadness. Riley appears reminiscent of a love lost (perhaps seasonal, personal or both). She asks the rain to impart nostalgia upon her whilst moving through the melancholia - thus speaking to the removal and renewal aspect of nature.
Growth is a prominent theme encapsulated in the aspects of ‘cleanse me’. As the lyrics deepen in detail, the musicality enhances, moving from minimal strings and steel pans to the kind of vibe you’d absorb in a dimly lit underground club somewhere in Europe - with the cadence of 2013’s Cut 4 Me by Kelela.
Visually, Riley sits in a room which fragments off into an enchanting 3-Dimensional backdrop of flowers and plants blooming tentatively. The portrayal of transformation and fragility, perfectly depict Riley’s vulnerable lyrics and articulation.
Allowing ‘cleanse me’ to take over my senses brought to my attention just how intrinsically linked sound and colour are; spectrums housing emotion and nature. Because the song is focused on feeling as opposed to concrete structure, we are invited to explore its layers and complexities and relate those new considerations to our personal life journeys.