When you interview Aluna-George, a British pop group from London, you only get one half of the electronica duo. While “George” (full name: George Reid) prefers to remain an outof-the-spotlight producing mystery, Aluna Francis, today clad in a cloud-patterned sweater and pigtail-style buns, has charisma enough for both of them, laughing and clowning in a quick pre-chat selfie session with this hapless interviewer.
That isn’t to say, however, that Aluna-George’s synth-y alt pop lacks heft—far from it. Take “My Blood,” a dreamy, driving track from their new album I Remember. “It touches on broader social issues that I think are more relevant now than when I wrote it,” says Francis, 27. “When I say ‘If you want my blood, join me at the front,’ I’m asking people to remember that there are higher powers in society that benefit from us fighting and hating one another.” She clarifies that she isn’t really talking about a specific struggle in the song but more about general fights against oppression and a call for unity in a time when division seems to be the order of the day.
Francis is equally interested in parsing the bizarre ways that people (particularly those in romantic entanglements) sometimes relate to one another. “Jealous”—a track she says was inspired by “a weird house party”—is about “when someone doesn’t fancy you but just wants your attention and then gets jealous when someone else gives you that attention.”
Reid may be the silent partner, but Francis makes it clear that creating their bright-with-a-dark-edge tunes is a partnership. “We’re always trying to surprise each other,” she says. “We wrote our first song together in a day, and we knew nothing about each other.” h