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Baker's Dozen

Heavenly Chorals: Gazelle Twin’s Favourite Albums
Hannah Pezzack , March 30th, 2022 10:29

From aliens, immortality and the early electronica of sci-fi films, to the sublime, immersive harmonies of devotional music, Gazelle Twin talks to Hannah Pezzack about thirteen albums that influenced her


Fever Ray – Fever Ray

In 2009, I was at a festival in Brighton performing the tracks that would later appear on The Entire City. At this point, there were no costumes involved and I was accompanied by a couple of other musicians on synths. The show was enjoyable, but things weren’t falling into place. We were working on a nearly orchestral scale; these gigantic sounds and themes that didn’t translate through me as this little squeaky person. And an issue I was continually running into was the problem of performing as myself, which I never felt comfortable with.

Later that evening, Fever Ray was scheduled to play at a much bigger venue. I’d heard the album but not seen anything of the show. My husband and I were backstage as we still had our artist passes and we could see the ensemble lining up, dressed in these utterly otherworldly, alien outfits. When Karin came out, she was wearing a costume based on a Nigerian shaman’s attire which, upon reflection, is potentially appropriative… But the way she transformed it... She looked like a house. There wasn’t a human figure on stage – it was a structure, a piece of architecture with cascading stems of grass hanging off the top like hair. From time to time, a pair of hands emerged out along with her unmistakable voice. My jaw was on the floor. In that moment, the penny dropped. I realised you don’t have to deal with your own identity, that you can appear and be – not even who but literally whatever – you want on stage. Fever Ray catapulted me into the mindset of how I wanted to present my music as Gazelle Twin. Thematically and in terms of its sound too that first self-titled Fever Ray album was pivotal. The combination of dark, natural, paganistic tonalities, brought together with 1980s synth and super sharp, futuristic elements over Karin’s distinctive vocals… I just fell in love.