Bachelorette @ CAMP 27/06/2011

Fresh off the back of a tour supporting fellow Antipodeans The Phoenix Foundation, Bachelorette, or Annabel Alpers as her Mum says when she’s telling her off, has popped over from East Coast USA for a one-off gig to promote her latest, self-titled album. There’s plenty of room down in CAMP, but those who have turned out are evidently keen to catch her.

The interior of the venue, slightly worn around the edges, is at odds with the vast array of shiny kit set up on the stage. Before long the diminuitive Bachelorette arrives, and straps herself into a guitar. “I’m going to start off slow,” she says, before looping her guitar, putting it down, looping multiplying layers of her own vocals. The pace is sedate, washing over us. It’s a nervous start to the set, but the songs grow in confidence as they pick up tempo. A youth spent cutting her teeth in bands playing surf-inspired rock shines through in the retro-futurist psychedelia she coaxes from her vintage synths.

Bachelorette’s reputation for audio-visual wizardry precedes her, and all those years studying computer-based composition has certainly paid dividends. She stands, drenched in projections of tessellated triangles in shades of blue, red, yellow and green, and as the lights dance, the music starts to pulse with her. Concentric circles hum and grow in time with the music, strange hanging geometric shapes and patterns, houndstooth-esque, twitch back and forth. It’s a striking sight, and particularly effective as the velocity of the set continues to gather and the music gets denser and noisier. Some of the songs build to a crescendo of layers, which, added to the ebb and flow of the visuals, somehow draw you in, totally immersing you.

Being a one woman band (painstakingly setting up each and every loop) is technically impressive, but risks alienating the crowd, giving her little opportunity to build a rapport with the audience. Luckily for Bachelorette her music has a quirkiness that is toe-tappingly infectious. It also doesn’t hurt that she has an undeniable groove underpinning it all.

The pace has definitely picked up now and, courtesy of ‘Generous Spectre’, some vocodor fuelled insanity ensues. Next, we’re treated to the real highlights of the set, ‘Polarity Party’ and ‘Blanket’, which are both densely intricate noisescapes with plenty of heavy, rumbling bass.

Bachelorette pitches herself well between a retro, kitsch sound and some much more raucous numbers. It’s definitely pop, if more than a little distorted, wonky and at times downright noisy. And you know what? It’s also a lot of fun.

Bachelorette’s self-titled album is out now on Souterrain Transmissions.

This post originally appeared on Spoonfed on 27 June 2011


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