As music consumers, we’re programmed to hear different genres differently, to experience different emotions as a result of different, familiar sounds. In the face of an acoustic guitar we get all wide eyed and emotional, loud guitars convey anger and rebellion, synthesisers are always alien, icy, almost aloof. Yet behind all of those starting points is the same thing, a human being; a weird, muddled, complex mass of emotions and thoughts. What if we could re-wire ourselves, hear the emotion in electronics, the tenderness in a roaring metal solo, the strength hiding behind the fragile flicker of fingers on an acoustic guitar. What if we could re-set the inbuilt bias in the way we hear music, and get to whatever was going on underneath?
A fine example of what we’re getting at comes today in the shape of the new single from Alice Hubble. Known as a member of the likes of Cosines and Mass Datura, Alice recently set up camp in her home with only a vast array of synthesisers for company. There Alice recorded her upcoming album, Polarlichter, and from that today we’re sharing the first single, Goddess.
The initial listen is an introduction, as you’d perhaps expect, to a world of glistening electronic tones; the steady pulse of choppy beats, ethereal waves of Tangerine Dream-like lead-lines, and crisp, clipped vocals. Yet, there’s something else here, the vocal is bold, perfectly enunciated yes, and it’s also just cracking, just showing the flaws that mark out its honesty and deeply human qualities; “you can take, and you will take, because it makes you feel great, she’s not real, she can’t feel”.
Discussing the inspiration behind the track, Alice has suggested Goddess is a track about, “the male gaze; about a man idolising a woman to the point that he doesn’t see her as a person”. The lyrics seem to plot out the path from adoration to destruction, the male character initially overshadowed by his love for the idea and image of his counterpart, before polishing out the edges and intrigue to the point that there’s nothing left. As Alice, further explains, “his ‘love’ is all consuming and the focus of his affection is seen merely as an object. As a result he consumes her and takes from her until she has little left”. Thankfully, our protagonist escapes, this time, “it all comes to you one day, kaleidoscope it turns to grey, demagnetised she walks away”. A tale of control and power, set to a perfect pop-song; as introductions go, Goddess is a hugely impressive one.