I discovered Gazelle Twin last year via Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone (two of her tracks ended up on my 2022 Halloween playlist). Through her website I learned of The Horror Show! exhibition at Somerset House1 in London that I managed to visit earlier this year.
I've been intending to write a 5-track blog post (a la Underworld, the Cure, Coil) for a while but I have been spurred on by the excellent news that she's got a new album on the way, and, she's performing at the Sage Gateshead in November. Buy tickets now!!
Here's the five tracks I recommend to get started:
Anti-Body, from 2014's UNFLESH. I particularly love the percussion. Perc did a good hard-house-style remix on Fleshed Out, the companion remix album.
Fire Leap, from Gazelle Twin and NYX's collaborative album Deep England. The album is a re-interpretation of material from Gazelle Twin's earlier album, Pastoral, with the exception of this track, which is a cover of Paul Giovanni's song from The Wicker Man. There's a common aesthetic in all three works: eerie-folk, England's self-mythologising as seen through a warped and cracked lens.
Better In My Day, from the aforementioned Pastoral. This track and this album are, I think, less accessible, more challenging than the re-interpreted material. That's not a bad thing: I'm still working on digesting it! This is one of the more abrasive, confrontational tracks.
I am Shell I am Bone, from way back to her first release, The Entire City in 2011. Composed, recorded, self-produced, self-released. It's remarkable to me how different each phase of GT's work are to one another. This album evokes a strong sense of atmosphere and place to me. There's a hint of possible influence of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures (or New Order's Movement) in places. The b-side to this song is a cover of Joy Division's The Eternal.
GT re-issued This Entire City in 2022 along with a companion-piece EP of newly-released material from the same era, The Wastelands. This isn't cutting room floor stuff, though, as evidenced by the strength of my final pick, Hole in my Heart.
It's hard to pick just five tracks when doing these (that's the point I suppose). I note that I haven't picked anything from her wide-ranging soundtrack work: her last three or four of her releases have been soundtrack works, released on the well-respected UK label Invada, as will be her forthcoming album. You can find all the released stuff on Gazelle Twin's Bandcamp Page.
- I recently learned that PJ Harvey once hosted album sessions in Somerset House, and allowed fans to watch her at work during the recording: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/jan/16/pj-harvey-somerset-house-recording-in-progress↩