Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Helen Culver - EP Seven Year Glitch - Part Silk and Part Barbed Wire

Seven Year Glitch (see what she did there?) is the latest dark synth stirred EP from London's Helen Culver. The sounds are cagey and spartan. On the lush Selfish Lover the groove provided by a deep buzzy synth bass and beats stalks. The track lyrical content is delicious. A sort of tug of war from the "text book things" (sexually) to "I've made all the right noises in all the right places" to "It's my turn to be a selfish lover" and more.  On Drink By Myself the beat feels in slow motion, the head bop cadence feels dub steppish on a bong. I wanted a seriously good rapper to paint his words on this one. Very cool like driving down Hollywood Blvd on a Friday night. Culver coos vocals "you're a really nice man and you're trying to make me laugh but it doesn't take me long to zone out of every paragraph" and later, "I don't think we'll tell our kids we met at the hotel bar" but it doesn't get that far as Helen wants to drink by herself. Helen slowy sends daggers out.

As a singer songwriter Culver does double duty as lyricist and as she says "making noise" and Liam Alexander produces the tracks tightly. Ctrl-Alt-Delete has a sweeping deep groove. The track is cool, exotic and feels both retro and futuristic at the same time. Culver's vocal performance on these tracks and specifically this track is at once sultry but aloof too. It is as if she keeps you at arms length as a matter of control and empowerment. She may want you but doesn't need you. Ctrl-Alt-Delete is my favorite track with the most sweeping and dynamic production arcs on the EP. I love the heavy handed walk into battle synths on this one.

On Red Light there is an almost Mid-Eastern tone. Once again Helen is speaking to the need and desire to raised standards in terms of "relationships", of having fine cuisine as opposed to fast food. At least that is my interpretation. In the end Seven Year Glitch is about self empowerment, not standing for anything that is subpar or emotionally cheap and who wants that. Helen Culver says it with dark grooves, clenched fists, sexy hip sways and maybe a taste of blood from biting ones tongue.

Robb Donker

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