This may not need to be pointed out, but I’m going to anyway.
The number of solo female musicians in Australia is exploding. From every angle, we have albums being released that not only prove that women are making a huge mark on the scene, inching towards balancing out the male-dominated industry, but it also feels like this is just the tip of an iceberg of talent that this country holds.
At the age of 24, Gordi’s debut once again raises the bar.
Just like the patience that Sophie Payten, aka Gordi, has displayed in finishing her medical degree (final exams next week!), the time taken to create her debut album, Reservoir, has been well worth the effort. It’s an aural journey between folk and electronica that doesn’t rest, doesn’t sound lazy and is intricately assembled.
The album opener, Long Way, is a delicate song, and like many tracks on the album, precise in its timing. The use of dual vocal lines, deep harmonies and sparse percussion create an airy space through which we float.
Never quite touching the edges. On My Side is a more traditional indie-pop song, but like many of the tracks on the album, never feels like it’s taking the listener for granted. The layers and synth glitches continually keep us on our toes but seem to fit perfectly into the Gordi guise.
Album highlight, Heaven I Know, with its metronomic counting vocal from 6/8 to 2/4 (in music geek terms) is glorious in balancing both technical and simple rhythms and melodies. Then you listen to the vocals:
“Cause I got older / and we got tired / heaven I know that we tried.“
The lyrics can be easily overlooked when listening to Reservoir. The musical preciseness is front and centre for most of the album, but there are lyrics of loss in I’m Done moving to feelings of hope in Aeon.
“Fall to your knees / tell me you’re fine / I’m lost on you / So what I will depend on is just mine.“
You get a real sense of Payten’s motivation and independence on this record. Recorded between five cities and three continents whilst still trying to finish a medical degree, you might expect disjointed moments during the record, but somehow they all tie in beautifully. With co-production from Tim Anderson (BANKS, Halsey, Solange) along with Alex Somers (Sigur Ros) and others, there is a feeling that Payten has retained control of the sound of the record from start to finish.
The album wraps up with the slow building, Something Like This. Declaring, “I wanted something like this“, we hope that Gordi is happy with how her debut album came out, because we sure are.
A sonic triumph from start to finish, and a debut that will propel Gordi onto the global stage.
Gordi – Reservoir
25 August, 2017 via Liberation