Avalon Emerson – Narcissus In Retrograde (2016)

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Avalon Emerson’s latest EP, Narcissus In Retrograde, explores four different styles that shape her distinct voice as a producer and songwriter, from symphonic showstoppers to broken acid. Opener “Natural Impasse” ferries massive melodic themes through a network of emotive capillaries that’s underpinned by charging drums, while “Dystopian Daddy” dons a theatrical flare with costume-changing arpeggiators and digital brass beef that command attention like a stage-hogging space alien diva lip-syncing for new wig money. The B-side takes a more menacing turn with “Why Does It Hurt,” the outright techno achievement of the record, and the snarling closer “Groundwater.” Ethereal vocals on the former punctuate kicks and growls that sound like they were pulled from a pedal monster’s electric guitar, and on “Groundwater,” a crucible of fucked breaks and acid cut a ravine through a bed of off-staccato hats and a sample swamp.

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