7/18/2017

Gender bending pop siren DRIFT. shares video for 'Genderland'

Introducing: DRIFT.
shares video for 'Genderland'
taken from forthcoming EP out 8 September
"iI’s Ace of Bass filtered through Darkwave, with a feminist message that targets patriarchy, racism and homophobia" - Kaltblut Magazine
"A strange and alluring alt-pop gem" - The Line of Best Fit
DRIFT. (Noun)
1. A driving movement or force; impulse; impetus; pressure.
“I don’t want to seem like a nice girl,” says Nathalia Bruno, the driving force behind DRIFT.
Mystique is everything to a musician who joins the dots between the analogue sounds of early electronica and the high-tech creations of the laptop era.
DRIFT. can be dark and dangerous, light and playful, always enigmatic. An iron fist in a velvet glove. Seduction with confrontation. A kiss with a razorblade.
“I like to toy with people’s perceptions,” says the Londoner with a post-punk past, striking out on her own after an apprenticeship in cult bands (Phosphor, M!R!M! ,Leave The Planet). She’s played bass and guitar with boys, she’s sung in front of them. Now she stands alone, just her keyboards for company.
“I’m happier on my own,” she says. “I need to be in control.”
‘Genderland’, her second EP as DRIFT., signals a shift; a drift towards self-determination, a PVC-clad step into the murky mixed-message waters of 21st century gender politics. If first EP ‘Black Devotion’ was all about searching for a sound – “I was more interested in textures” – ‘Genderland’ distils DRIFT.’s ideas on sexual identity into a series of vignettes. It’s a statement of intent, a message. A warning. The recipients know who they are.
“It’s a kind of goodbye to relationships,” she says. “I’ve experienced some difficult times. This is my response. I don’t want to talk about specifics. If there’s a unifying theme in the lyrics, it’s female empowerment.”
Musically, the six songs complement each other too. Throbbing beats are punctuated with melodies, vocals floating in layers, their dreamy veil disguising a strong message. Strong and anything but stable. It’s all about contrast and confusion. “I definitely think I’ve found myself as an artist. I used to focus on my ‘sound’ but now I’m writing pop songs. I’m more confident with my vocals, which I used to hide under loads of layers and effects, and my lyrics have a message and a purpose. Before I used to just make them up to suit the voice.”
Lead song ‘Genderland’ – the video addresses gender politics in a Garden of Eden constructed in her north London garden – marks the territory. With its rumbling bass, syncopated electro-reggae rhythm and dub effects, it’s Ace of Bass filtered through Darkwave, with a feminist message that targets patriarchy, racism and homophobia. “I’m portraying my ideal vision of the world – a world without prejudice.”
DRIFT.’s influences come from 50 years of music. From the analogue experiments of Suicide and Silver Apples, through The Human League and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Pet Shop Boys and Soft Cell, Underworld and Chemical Brothers, Aphex Twin and beyond, informed by the spirit of punk rock, avant-garde electronica and pure pop.
Inspiration comes from her environment too. People and places. Walking to work through Ridley Road Market in Dalston: the smells, the sights, the sounds of different cultures. And night buses, rainstorms, deserted streets at four in the morning; the life of a single girl in London in 2017.
“The best music is unsettling. The worst is when it washes over the listener. I want my songs to jolt them into paying attention. But also to seduce them with melody. I’m not ashamed of pop music. This is pop.”
There’s a nod to Eighties electropop outfits like OMD in ד תמי(‘Always’), a song titled after the tattoo on Nathalia’s wrist, its literal and metaphorical permanence echoing the irony of a failed relationship. ‘Forever and ever,” she sings androgynously. “Forever we could be in heaven”.
‘Paradise’ throbs and clanks and drones and pulses with expectation, celestial multitracked vocals repeating: “I only dream of you”. ‘Lines’,by contrast, is a bubbling and burbling, bass-driven affair, complete with a melodic nod to ‘West End Girls’ and a choral feel to vocals: ‘What does it feel to look in my eyes?” they ask. “What does it feel to look away?’
‘Social Front’ marries its message of female empowerment to bouncy electropop, influenced by post-punk performance artist and No Wave singer Lizzy Mercier Descloux: “Eyes wide Shut and counting the days / That cowards don’t fight and look the other way” while ‘Calculations’ draws the EP to a close in a fittingly anthemic manner. - by Tim Cooper (The Evening Standard)



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