search for something...

search for something you might like...

The Disturbing World of the Gazelle Twin Is Like Correct Here? Alan Rider parses difficult semantical signs

The Disturbing World of the Gazelle Twin

Is Like Correct Here? Alan Rider parses difficult semantical signs

by Alan Rider, Contributing Editor
first published: November, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

The disconnected and disturbing quality of each track is reminiscent of a black and white Surrealist arthouse short, an aural Un Chien Andalou

Gazelle Twin cover artGAZELLE TWIN
Black Dog
(Invada Records)

Gazelle Twin is a revelation. Occasionally something comes along that is genuinely so unusual, so different, that it takes on a quality all of its own. 'Black Dog' is certainly that. Gazelle Twin is composer, producer, singer, and visual artist Elizabeth Bernholz, whose performance and production credits include Gary Numan and encompass soundtrack credits for Film, TV, and Video games including The Walking Dead, The Virtues, Edgerunners (Netflix), Nocturne (Amazon/Blumhouse), The Power and Then You Run amongst others.  She has also released three previous albums as Gazelle Twin. So she has the pedigree, but far from resting on her laurels, 'Black Dog' pushes the envelope further into the truly strange.

From the intoned title track that takes its inspiration from the books she reads to her children, its ominous musical undertow giving it a nightmarish and yet dream like quality, the thudding, pulsating rhythms, bass tones, and scrapes, overlaid by ghostly and glacial synth runs with half spoken, half whispered vocals woven and stitched into the fabric of each song so they are an integral part of the sound, stand in stark contrast to the loud and in your face vocal style of her contemporaries. There is a subtlety about every track, both unselfconsciously experimental, and unsettling in equal measure. Song structures are stretched and distorted, ripped almost painfully out of her, yet delicate and glass fragile.  You won't find any verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle eight break going on here. The disconnected and disturbing quality of each track is reminiscent of a black and white Surrealist arthouse short, an aural Un Chien Andalou

Unsettling and other worldly without relying on cliche, only Diamanda Galas comes close to Gazelle Twin in both drawing you in and scaring the hell out of you. Songs cut off abruptly, before spinning off into another dark corner. Almost orchestral sections dive abruptly into the abyss. Gazelle Twin herself sounds tortured yet ecstatic in equal measure, and for a Halloween release 'Black Dog' is perfectly timed.  No Trick Or Treater would have come within a mile of your house if you had this playing. "I'm trapped between these two worlds and there is no respite" she pleads.  Quite what goes on inside her head to generate these ideas, sounds and lyrics is quite worrying but she always appears in control of the inner demons she parades in front of you.  Like a Medium she channels the voices inside herself, making them real and tangible, but not being consumed or immolated by them.  "Push me" she whispers, but is actually doing a fine job of pushing herself beyond anything you and I could do, or would want to.

She appears afraid of being consumed and disappearing into her nightmares, but is determined to sing out from behind the mirror. You may feel I am being over dramatic here, but 'Black Dog' is without doubt a work of art as much as an album. Whether you are ready for it though is quite another matter.

Essential Information
Main Image, Gazelle Twin by Teri Varhol

Alan Rider
Contributing Editor

Alan Rider is a Norfolk based writer and electronic musician from Coventry, who splits his time between excavating his own musical past and feeding his growing band of hedgehogs, usually ending up combining the two. Alan also performs in Dark Electronic act Senestra and manages the indie label Adventures in Reality.

about Alan Rider »»

Chickenbone  John at Corks in Bearwood on Friday March 1st web banner
FRIDAY MARCH 1st, Cork's in Bearwood




All About and Contributors


Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]


If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]


The Retrofuturists Are Back February 29th

outsideleft content is not for everyone