★★★★ Pastoral ANTI-GHOST MOON RAY. CD/DL Brighton composer Elizabeth Bernholz’s folk music for Brexit Britain.
Something is rotten in the state of Britain, we all know that now, but it takes serious mettle and a gimlet eye to make an album like this – a dark, frantic catalogue of modern Britain with all its ancient roots. The song titles alone give you a taste: Throne, Tea Rooms, Mongrel, Better In My Day. On Glory, Gazelle Twin is Kate Bush channelling the ghost of Riddley Walker; on Dance Of The Peddlers, Gazelle Twin stutters “Did he who made the lamb make thee?” from William Blake’s The Tyger (a poem which can be paraphrased, fittingly for our times, as ‘Who the hell is in charge here?’); we hear her old recorder from school, her unsettling synthesized vocals, grotesque Punch & Judy noises and snippets of John Tams. An album like this could be relevant at any time, really, but it takes the past couple of years to make it quite this livid.