First class minimalist electro at its polished best
Having first picked up on Psych Folkster Annabel Alpers after having a brief encounter with her last album 'Isolation Loops', I was sure her self-titled album would be just as juicy and drenched in magical mysterious spells, crafted from sampled instruments, it was.
Do you remember Imogen Heap's 'Hide & Seek'? Spectrum-harmonies oozing with gritty emotion? That was a good moment for electro-pop and until now, with the release of Bachelorettes self-titled debut; I'd wondered if anything could compare. The surreal essence of the album is evident from the start, and you can tell from opening track 'Grow Old With Me' that Kiwi-born Bachelorette is no stranger to computer based composition.
Her fascination with systems and mechanisms may well be a tad weird, however, it's showcased in her complex sound, layered together with a host of various instruments and that's what makes her so unique and the music so appealing.
On 'The Light Seekers' the electro sound is a lot less apparent and instead, folk sounds take centre stage with a strummed guitar, if its dance-pop or ambient techno you're looking for, then there's nothing for you here I'm afraid.
After listening to masterpiece 'Blanket' it's then that the album really hits its stride; delivering an almost perfect blend of electronica and folk, minus the vocals it has a slight Goldfrapp feel to it. You can instantly tell it is and will remain one of the albums strongest tracks, making it one of the most radio friendly along with 'Polarity Party' which delivers cold electro keyboards that meet that all important psychedelic touch, but a lot more ethereal; the album is resembling the classic I thought it would be, that is until you hit track 6 'The Last Boat's Leaving' although the most organic track on the album it's quite repetitive and a little too drawn out; for me, the weakest track on the album.
Unfortunately, from here onwards it doesn't get much better, soft simple whistling throughout 'Tui Tui' perhaps makes this track the most delicate with its air light vocals but it sits a little too close to the Enya mark and the lyrics from 'Waveforms' seem to have been pulled straight from a sixth form poetry text book. That said, final track 'Not Entertainment' makes for a refreshing finish to the mixed album, a host of differnet sounds can be heard on this track including an old-fashioned phone dial resemblance nearing the end.
Annabel Alpers may not have all the ingredients needed for a successful electro-pop album; but what we have here is first class, minimalist electro at its polished best.