Sometimes it isn’t easy to think of something new to say - and I don’t just mean as a reviewer in these anodyne times – and I’m sure that every musician must encounter this feeling as well. The result of this to the casual listener must surely be confusion as the retro sounds of the past are routinely dug up and represented with only the addition of the zeitgeist of today differentiating them from the sounds of their parent’s record collection.
That is perhaps the problem with Drift’s “Genderland” EP. Sonically, the songs on it have that heavily sequenced analogue synth sound that practically guaranteed chart success way back when such things were deemed commercial yet the overall mood is very much of today i.e. detached with little attempt to capture either ears or heart. Maybe that isn’t such a bad thing as this approach is undoubtedly deliberate and, despite the arthouse level pretension inherent with such things, there is enough in the blank poetry used to proclaim the Drift – a nom de theatre for London based Nathalia Bruno - message to indicate that each song has an intellectual direction and “Genderland” could therefore be considered something akin to a commentary on our times.
“Social Front”, for example, seems buoyant in the context of these six songs yet there is, within it, this implication that all that is here is but a reflection of the spiritual emptiness that surrounds as all. “Lines”, on the other hand, is redolent of an eighties dancefloor escapee yet the very mood of the song is more that of the claustrophobia found on the rush hour train to Uxbridge.
Is “Genderland” something that you might like? The retro synth sounds might indeed click your track and that downbeat groove is, all hipsters know, currently fashionable in downtown Dalston. But will you actually like it? That depends on whether you can accept music that makes you think. If you can then look no further. Alternatively, maybe we are all ghosts after all.