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Music Review: Bachelorette – My Electric Family

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Annabel Alpers, better known by her stage name Bachelorette, is a techno pop/electro pop artist from New Zealand. She graduated with a music degree from Canterbury University and found herself in the surf pop group, Hawaii Five-O. She left that group to pursue her true musical interest.

Alpers had always been attracted to computers and gradually assembled a family of synthesizers and keyboards. She found a way to combine her passions by creating electric keyboard music through the use of computers. She says it fits her persona of half music, half machine.

Her first full length album under the Bachelorette name, Isolation Loops, was a solitary love affair between herself and her music. It was recorded in virtual isolation and was a computer-made creation and recording.

Bachelorette has now returned with her second full length release, titled My Electric Family. She has used some human companionship to help create her new music. Guitarist Tom Watson, bassist Andrew Bain, lap steel guitarist Les Prebble, plus drummers Dino Karlin and Craig Terris all lend a hand on various tracks. There is even a little brass, courtesy of the The Royal New Zealand Air Force Brass Band. It all moves her sound a little out of the computer room and back to the land of the living.

At heart she is a psychedelic pop artist who uses that style as the foundation upon which to build her rhythms and sound. She creates a dream world of her own making which entrances and sometimes mesmerizes. As such, it is not a musical form that will have cross appeal, as it is still squarely a part of the experimental and electronic pop world.

The eleven tracks are more gentle than in your face. I tend to like her approach a bit more when she layers her vocals which fill in the sound and enhance the keyboards.

The best tracks are “Her Rotating Head,” “Dream Sequence” with some brass in support, and “Long Time Gone.” It makes me interested as to how she presents her music live.

My Electric Family is an album for music fans who want to explore the outer limits of pop music. Annabel Alpers (or Bachelorette) has a mind that doesn’t work like the normal musician, which is part of the adventure shared.

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