Elevate Difference

My Electric Family

Bachelorette is the electronic dream pop project of New Zealander Annabel Alpers. Her record, My Electric Family, is beautifully orchestrated and takes inspiration from its title to explore the lusher, melodic side of electronic music inhabited by the likes of Tortoise, Caribou, Asobi Seksu, and Lali Puna

The album’s opener, “Instructions for Insomniacs,” showcases Alpers’ layered instrumentation and vocals, with verdant harmonies pushed forward with a loping snare beat and accented with a lap steel guitar. “Her Rotating Head,” a number just asking to be remixed as a dance track with a deeper bass line, directly embraces familiar feminist themes of women’s body image and media exploitation as sex objects with lyrics like, “She likes it that way, she’s programmed to say, ‘objectify me, degrade and revile me.’” These sensibilities set Bachelorette apart from her electronic contemporaries, who often prefer to hide their political sensibilities behind layers of feedback, effects, and laptop generated bleeps.

Alpers embraces and pokes fun at the technology she uses to create her art. During the opening lines of “Technology Boy,” Alpers sings, “Technology boy intends to live his life as a machine, but then his humanness experiences humanitarian resentment.” Alpers’ lyrics are clever and critical without being cynical or biting, making My Electric Family a fun and refreshing listen. She brings in a variety of collaborators to add instrumentation, including the Royal New Zealand Air Force Brass Band to play on “Dream Sequence.” The songs embrace a variety of pop styles, but the overall feeling of the album is engagingly upbeat. With each song contributing to the flow of the album—while also standing alone as a gem of glittering pop—My Electric Family deserves a place among the year’s best indie-pop records.

Written by: Eleanor Whitney, June 24th 2009

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