ALBUM REVIEW: Bachelorette Isolation Loops MATTHEW HENGEVELD No, Bachelorette is not the name of a new ABC show spinoff, it’s the alter ego of Annabel Alpers, budding talent from New Zealand. The Bachelorette moniker is currently three albums deep. Her newest album, My Electric Family (2009), was pretty good, though it showed a clear departure from the “dabbling” stage of her first two albums. It still feels like a messy room covered in photographs, underwear and moldy teacups— but this time it bears the weight of expectation and a brooding fan base. It’s hardly a bad album, but I’d ask fans to give her earlier efforts a second spin. Particularly (2007), my favorite of the bunch. Alpers’ voice is like a child lost in a room of broken toys. She moves from one pointless topic to the next, hoping to get somewhere with it and acquire a speck of meaning, only to conclude the utter pointlessness of her quibbles. She sings with dissonance and failed vocal harmonies with various selves. It’s a satisfyingly awkward listen. In “Doo Wop,” when she says, “The guit-TAR in your hand, he smile-LED as you sang,” it is like she’s holding back a hiccup or some shit. It works to her benefit and creates a unique listener-singer relationship as she whispers some banal midnight rambling to you. Cutesy songs like “Poppacino” have a chorus comprised of several tracks of her own voice, all panned differently, but amplified the same, so that each one is fighting to be heard above the din. She uses this eerie technique time and time again. Yet it all works together. British guitarist Bill Nelson enjoyed mild success with his first band Be Bop Deluxe, but his opus was his new wave solo effort, Quit Dreaming and Get On the Beam. The album was a seamless combination of analog and digital with blaring horns, electric guitar and crunching synths — in my opinion better than any Talking Heads release. Alpers’ builds upon this formula to create the same skin-crawling tweaked-ness. Drag City has graciously re-released Bachelorette’s Isolation Loop on vinyl for your listening pleasure. Now in stores… somewhere.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *