Review: Penelope Trappes- Penelope Three

The third part of her trilogy, Penelope Three, from Australian artist Penelope Trappes, is as delicate, fragile and beautiful as a stained glass window.

The opening track Veil feels enveloping and warm, like a siren, whose song is making countless sailors crash onto the rocks. There’s something incredibly affecting about the purity of Trappes’ voice juxtaposed against the warped instrumentation of droning, distorted synths

Her music often calls to mind the experimentation of This Mortal Coil and Dead Can Dance, the blurring of modern production with primordial sounds. It’s eerie but weirdly comforting, a human antidote to mass-produced pop music for mainstream ears.

The absolute absence of throwing everything into the album is why it’s so effective. Tracks like Fur And Feather are absolutely minimal, piano, voice and tiny washes of synth, creating a bare bones sound. Nervous seems like a sigh, barely there.

Things take a decidedly murkier turn though on the tumultuous Awkward Matriarch , a glacial and menacing swirl, and Northern Lights crackles and bubbles with creepy percussion and gothic violin, creating a nightmarish tone.

This refusal to compromise is at the heart of Penelope Trappes’ sound. Dip a toe in, and you’ll want to wade out further. It’s absolutely bewitching.

Out via Houndstooth on May 28th

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