Radclyffe Hall 2016
Dark, yet soulful, electronica from haunted house of unshattered dreams.
Named after an English poet whose “The Laying Of Ghosts” was a specters-banishing paean to love, this Boston collective created a world that’s austere and opulent at the same time. With sometime homespun sonics in their house and a gonzo slant to their grooves, nothing spells such a contradiction more than “Don’t Wait (It’s Now Or Never)” – a hit-in-waiting, featuring Raine’s voice – where urgency is outlined by an unhurried tempo, yet whatever Detroit-via-Manchester chill there is in the likes of “Rather Be” which find escapism in shoegazing, Dhy Berry’s sultry vocals blow their shimmer up towards discotheque heat.
Still, if the deceptively glacial “OMG” hides restrained amazement, “Control” has its temperature progressively increased for a perfect dance, and “Kites” envelops the listener in warm sheets of thunder, while riffs propel a piano in the direction of ultimate bliss. All of it is gloomy, though, velvety so; that’s why a degree of heaviness suits “Should’ve Never Met You” rather well, stressing the piece’s despondent optimism, but it’s “Love Me Tonight” that’s the epitome of the band’s buzz, a cut whose scintillating spin can chase any phantom, and phantom pain, away. A cathartic album.