Hamerkop’s debut album, Remote, was inspired by Annabel Alpers’ collection of field recordings from her New Zealand homeland and travels around the world. It’s a conception that’s not immediately obvious from the three opening tracks, which are very much a continuation of her previous work with Bachelorette. This results in hazy electro-dreampop that sounds like it was recorded on cheap, vintage synths and drum machine. Pleasantly nondescript, tracks such as ‘We Can Wing’ could be Beach House if not for audio engineer Adam Cooke’s motorik drumming.
Things get more interesting when Alpers and Cooke shift their energies towards psych-folktronica. Here the tracks are layered and looped with floating vocals and shimmering synths that pan from speaker to speaker. Interwoven throughout is the burble of conversation and the crackle of a bonfire, most notably on ‘TINY’ and ‘Mourning Bells’.
These field sounds help to give the Baltimore-based pair a sense of place and mood, be that the drifting fug of Clear Horizon on the title track or the slightly eastern feel to ‘Polisher’. At its best when it fuses these samples with the pop sensibility of Alpers’ early work, Remote tends towards sonic wallpaper when it doesn’t get the balance right.
Loud And Quiet needs your support to survive
The COVID-19 crisis has really hit Loud And Quiet hard, cutting off our advertising revenue stream, which is how we’ve always funded what we do in order to keep the magazine free for our readers.
Now we must ask for your help to save us.
If you enjoy our articles, photography and podcasts, and if you can afford to, please consider subscribing to Loud And Quiet. With FREE delivery in the UK (international subscriptions also available), it works out to just £1 per week.
If we don’t receive enough subscribers, we’ll be closing down.
We’ll post you our next 6 issues, a handmade lockdown fanzine, access to our digital editions, an L&Q brass pin, playlists, a bookmark and some other extras.