Hamerkop – Remote review

by Philip Moss

Long time Drag City recording artist, Annabel Alpers – formerly of Bachelorette – returns alongside Baltimore drummer/engineer, Adam Cooke (Future Islands, Wye Oak) as Hamerkop. And their debut LP, Remote, is a fascinating sonic exploration.

The record’s opening trio of Egg, We Can Wing and The Splendour That Was Rome blur synth-based krautrock and psychedelia – but while being the most immediate cuts on the record, it is at the record’s more spacious centre where it truly comes alive. Title track, Remote, sees field recordings layered against swirling acoustic thrusts and intertwined, repetitive vocals to form dizzying melodic phrases. On Deadwood, Alpers brings to mind Beach House’s Victoria Legrand. But the record’s most triumphant moment is Polisher – the star being the song’s mesmeric arrangement, which sees twisting guitars and violas grow from simple tabla hits into Remote’s best vocal performance.

To file Remote under one specific genre would be near impossible – but why would you want to? The fun here is in exploring its glittering uniqueness.

Secret Meeting score: 77


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