by Philip Moss
In May, Emily Cross aka Cross Record released PYSOL My Castle – a totally absorbing, wondrous four minutes of avant-garde pop music, and the first taste from her upcoming self-titled long player, Cross Record.
Based on early impressions, nothing else on Cross Record reaches the heady heights of the lead single. Where PYSOL My Castle sees Cross’ voice up front and her addictive melodies bathed in sensual reverb, other tracks don’t unfurl themselves so freely. Hollow Garden is a swirl of claustrophobic, glitchy electronics that could slot onto a Thom Yorke solo collection, while The Fly – a composition that explores the fragility of the mind – feels like the type of excitement Lana Del Rey could conjure should she ever free herself from her major label shackles. An Angel, a Dove blurs Grouper-evoking soundscapes with dystopian drones and stuttering synths lifted straight from Blade Runner.
But Cross Record’s difficulties are most certainly what makes it so charming. Every listen reveals another layer – another melody, another piece of instrumentation – that didn’t reveal itself on the previous play. This is an album that both requires time and deserves it.
Secret Meeting score: 84