ELLE (Canada) - - Radar -

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

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