Paper Dollhouse’s new tape The Walled Garden on MoonDome Records bursts with bright beauty.
Paper Dollhouse sound occupies a space between the pastoral and the urban, between British-landscape influenced hazy ambient, lush post-rave elegance and neon melancholia. This dichotomy persists across its discography and beautifully overlaps frequently. The artist notes of this release shed some additional light on is nature. Duo’s members Astrud Steehouder and Nina Bosnic are informed by different experiences in their surroundings. Astrud’s cultural background is tied to London’s intensity and its psychogeographical layers, the overlap of industrial and natural, while Nina lives in a vast countryside and finds more in comfort with vast open spaces and fields. The geographical aspect has always been important in the duo’s work, thus no wonder this record is also an explicit manifestation of it.
The Walled Garden is a reference to a place in Hackney, a secluded green space surrounded by the bustling of this busy and fashionable borough. This contrast reflects in the album as well as it exists on the verge of countryside exploratory escapism and bustling urban cultural undercurrents.
While most of the previous Paper Dollhouse records where soaked in nocturnal and twilight moods, The Walled Garden is a brighter one, although still preserving the contemplative atmospherics. Radiant pulsations of “Strange Awakening, Pulling Towards The Sun” are a perfect companion for sunny autumn afternoons, while the skywards-drifting “It’s Raining, Everything Is Ok” induces the state of elevated peacefulness with its softly majestic harmonies. “Lilac Dawn” wraps us with synthetic pastoralia, while “Pink Velvet” sounds like a rehearsal of spectral punk band heard behind the wall.
The spoken-word and field recording interludes provide additional dynamics to the record. They give it a cinematic touch, some additional narratives underlying behind the soundscapes, beyond the garden walls. Thus, it makes the record an open-ended piece of art, evoking new shades with every listen, connecting differently to changing landscapes and cityscapes.
Format: 12’’ / Digital
Label: MoonDome Records
Concert: 2 Nov 2019, London
Release Date: 25 October, 2019
1. We Walked Through the Woods Holding Hands
3. Bird Song
4. Strange Awakening, Pulling Towards the Sun
5. Say Something
6. Flowers Through Stone Private
7. Flowers Continue to Grow
8. Time Circle
9. It's Raining, Everything Is Ok
10. Deepest Tide
11. Pink Velvet
12. Lilac Dawn
13. This Is Not the End