Paper Dollhouse are an East London based duo comprising Astrud Steehouder and Nina Bosnic whose second album Aeonflower has just had a vinyl release on Glasgow's Night School Records, a label you may recall me going on about before. It really is a label worth checking out as it's currently on a run like early Mute records, firing our brilliant electronic music again and again with albums from the likes of Happy Meals, Apostille and Sally Dige.
Aeonflower fits perfectly onto the Night School roster. The album is a mixture of dark electronics, ambient sounds and, in places, an unsettling vibe that comes together to produce something very special indeed. Opener Oracle is a sedate, twinkling two minute or so electronic instrumental that flows straight into the beautiful Stand, which has a post rock feel albeit one from the outer reaches of electronic music. Helios is a joy too, mixing pulsing synths with experimental feeling vocals quite hypnotically. So far, the album is a soothing experience but that changes with the almost industrial feel of Psyche which has echoes of the likes of Throbbing Gristle throughout. It's a startling track, especially given the music that has come before, but it's a cracker and is a track that has grabbed me.
Your Heart and Diane return us to a less industrial landscape, both tracks mixing sparse electronics with distinct hints of a poppier feel, albeit one that remains unsettling but somehow welcoming. Silence and In The Sun follow, with the latter recalling Joy Division and early Factory Records in feel and mood which is never a bad things. Black Flowers then strips the music back to complete basics leaving us listening to minimalist ambience if such a thing exits before the marvellous Siren closes the album, cinematic in feel and offering glimpses of sunshine as we leave the, admittedly superb, claustrophobia or the preceding 9 tracks.
Aeonflower is one of those albums that is quite an experience to listen to. There's nothing necessarily instantly catchy or boldly melodic, however the first listen grabs you, leaving you intrigued and subsequent plays only serve to reveal more and more and to pull you further into the record. It's something you should really hear.
Aeonflower by Paper Dollhouse is available on Night School Records here http://nightschoolrecords.bigcartel.com/product/lssn029-paper-dollhouse-aeonflower-lp
Paper Dollhouse Facebook https://www.facebook.com/PaperDollhouse?fref=ts