Bachelorette - Bachelorette

by Emily Bielby Rating:6 Release Date:2011-05-17

Having first picked up on psych-folkster Annabel Alpers after a brief encounter with her last album, Isolation Loops, I was sure her new 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, but 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 it's dance-pop or ambient techno you're looking for, then there's nothing for you here I'm afraid. With masterpiece 'Blanket' 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 album's strongest tracks, making it one of the most radio-friendly along with 'Polarity Party', which delivers cold electro keyboards which meet that all-important psychedelic touch, but are a lot more ethereal. The album is close to being the classic I thought it would be, that is until track six, '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.

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 on '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 a mixed album, a host of different sounds can be heard on this track including an old-fashioned phone dial near 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.

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