wed 22/09/2021

Album: Gazelle Twin & NYX - Deep England | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Gazelle Twin & NYX - Deep England

Album: Gazelle Twin & NYX - Deep England

Dreamlike psychedelia trips on pagan England

Deep England: haunting and trippy

Deep England is Gazelle Twin’s reimagining, with the help of ambient drone choir NYX, of her 2018 Pastoral album. Based on their live reworking of the album from 2019, it is like the musical soundtrack to wandering through an unfamiliar English forest under the influence of magic mushrooms.

For where Pastoral was angular and harsh, Deep England is haunting and trippy and is really something special. One thing it isn’t, though, is hippy dippy.

Opening with the sound of church bells, “Glory” brings in recorders, ambient electronic drone and a female choir of pagan plainsong like a hallucinatory witchy take on Wardruna’s schtick. It then moves on to “Folly”, which starts in similar territory before producer/mixer Marta Salogni starts tugging at the musical threads and almost randomly pulling them out of the song, as it falls apart piece by piece. “Throne” is more spaced out, ethereal and disorientating, spinning a tuneful narcotic web as Elizabeth Bernholz intones “I sit on the throne / I gather your souls”.

Elsewhere, Gazelle Twin and NYX cover “Fire Leap”, the otherworldly pagan fertility song from The Wickerman, while William Blake’s “Jerusalem”, which has been claimed by everyone from The Fall and Emerson, Lake and Palmer to the Church of England over the years, is reimagined as an acapella prayer, drenched in reverb with an unobtrusive electronic drone underlay. It stands in stark contrast to the chanted, claustrophobic and gammon-baiting “Better in my Day”.

The title track is similarly bleak but earthy, primal but cosmic, as it moves through the ether, casting its unsettling spell before bringing things to an end with “Golden Dawn”. Here, the Green Man is finally summoned from the depths of creation, as female voices float and entwine around him before burying him in the fields and the woodland beyond the cities and the tarmac.

Like the musical soundtrack to wandering through an unfamiliar English forest under the influence of magic mushrooms

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Explore topics

Share this article

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters