It is a good week for confrontational albums – but none will be more arresting than the latest from Gazelle Twin, which pins its listener against the wall and stares them out with an unflinching gaze. This is really high powered stuff from Elizabeth Bernholz, whose vocals hold centre stage but who takes what on the face of it are the gentle, green fields of Pastoral and updates them to the future tense. There are intriguing elements of folk music included in songs like ‘Over The Hills’ and ‘Punch & Judy’, where some of the deceptively simple melodies and splashes of traditional instrumentation are countered by synths that are sharp as nails. There is also a concession to house music as it was in the late 1980s, experienced raw and unfiltered in the middle of a field – and Bernholz recreates some of the euphoria of that experience, tarnished now by modern political life at its worst. There is some oblique electro here for sure, and it won’t be for everyone on headphones, but the sheer chutzpah of Gazelle Twin’s music means you can’t ignore it and it draws you in.
4 out of 5