Bella Union present the debut album of Bernard + Edith, a Manchester duo who pull together a range of dark-electronic-pop influences. Jem is full of highly detailed miniatures, carefully layered up into uncanny wholes. Fans of The Cocteau Twins or Fever Ray might well have a good time. Available on CD, or as an LP + CD combo.
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 06 May 2015
Today is a momentous day my friends.... a day they said would never happen. The day I finally liked a record on Bella Union. Ok, ok I have liked records on Bella Union before…..but not many. Bernard and Edith are a gloomy electronica duo straight out of the drizzly streets of Manchester and this, their debut exemplifies how to do misery-tronica well.
It has the dark, grainy feel of Zola Jesus high water mark ‘Stridulum II’ perhaps bringing an English concrete-grey sense of foreboding to proceedings. It’s probably no coincidence that it's on Bella Union when singer Greta Carroll has such a Liz Frazer warble to her singing. This is most obvious on ‘Crocodile’ which sounds like some kind of 1983 era Cocteau Twins demo with washes of guitar fluttering over simple drum machine. Like many bands these days they positively revel in under producing their music and there’s a dark eerie-ness at the heart of these tracks that sits right between 4AD/Dead Can Dance style neo-goth and modern day post dubstep atmospherics.
At times it sounds like the soundtrack to getting off the night bus and walking through rainy streets back to a dingy flat in the heart of suburbia. Therefore I can hear bits of Burial and The XX in this clipped almost brutal take on dark soul. It’s one of those records which seeps into your soul, sounding better as a whole than it does individually.
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- Jem by Bernard + Edith
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