Bachelorette - Bachelorette (Souterrain Transmissions)

A strong and impressive record which probes much more than your average lovesick alien.

Released Jun 13th, 2011 via Souterrain Transmissions / By David Waite
Bachelorette - Bachelorette (Souterrain Transmissions) Hailing from New Zealand, Annabel Alpers aka Bachelorette and label Souterrain Transmissions are very keen to attach some other world imagery to her latest musical output. The online artist biog. informs the reader that "Bachelorette gestures toward an alien solar system. Here, some planets shimmer, shrouded in an emerald light, another finds a civilisation forever in the trance of a gorgeous mechanical heartbreak". It's hard not to read this without imagining something spiritual, complex, and above all massively pretentious, but behind the shimmering planets and mechanical hearts, Alpers delivers a strong and impressive record which probes much more than your average lovesick alien.

In keeping with the blurb, there seems to be a wistful lack of definition about the album at first, but as it plays out an underlaying amount of clarity develops and it becomes clear that the songs beneath the layers are actually extremely well written. Several songs in, and it's clear this record is a clinic in how to stack chords and weave melodies. The effect is a vast and epic sound, which remains remarkably well structured. Listening to this album is like looking out at an electrical storm with a cup of tea and central heating. It feels as precisely engineered as it does sprawling and deep.

In fact, it's almost a shame to bury such well constructed songs in a digital cloak. The synthetic orchestra and layered vocals make lazy comparisons to Enya or Bjork impossible to escape but the rhythms and vocal harmonies on tracks like 'The Light Seekers' or 'Tui Tui' have much more in common with the giants of the 60's California scene, The Byrds or the Mammas & the Papas.

Whilst the constant barrage of electronic instrumentation does dehumanise it to an extent, this remains a mature and delicate outing. To hear these songs as in the galaxy they originated would be a real treat.