There is no greater pleasure for someone like me, than to see a Mancunian act like Bernard & Edith find themselves in the position of beginning 2015 signed to Bella Union, deservedly about to find bigger audience. I distinctly remember the first time I met vocalist Greta ‘Edith’ Carroll down at the SWAYS Bunker, her warm personality left a real impression, shining brightly in a room full of chattering people… and together with her talented partner, a/v artist Nick ‘Bernard’ Delap, they have created a musical project unlike any other.
This is pop music with a uniquely northern imprint, defined by Greta’s jazz influenced vocal, unconventional and darkly delicious. Nick’s beautifully experimental soundscapes, produced with field recordings and basic instrumentation, add texture and mystery. It’s an artistic marriage made in well… Whalley Range. I’ve done my little bit in supporting Bernard & Edith along the way, having promoted them back in 2013, and written about them here on numerous occasions… so it feels fitting today to support and celebrate the official launch of WURDS at The Eagle Inn, Salford tonight. 8pm
I’ve admittedly been feeling fairly uninspired lately, and in turn my writing… and love of music has suffered. It often takes a special kind of band to bring me out of this spell, and I’m happy to say Faenimal Arm were able to do it. Based in Helsinki, this electronica duo consisting of Mia Ojapalo and Emil Järnefelt remind me a little of Manchester’s Bernard & Edith; experimental electronica but retaining a pop sensibility within their sound. Début track Industrial Sex (released via Vild Recordings) has this hypnotic and sensual rhythm that playfully dances around Emil’s shoegazer vocals. The video, created by artist Nick Tulinen, mirrors the feeling the song creates beautifully…
I’ve always been a believer that artists need space and time to develop, aware that those thrown into the spotlight too soon, often end up on scrapheap before they’ve even got going. Manchester is the perfect city to hone your craft, away from industry eyes but very much part of a vibrant and competitive scene. Having previously fronted Letters To Fiesta, Anna-Louisa Etherington will be a familiar voice to many, and it feels like her musical development might be reaching it’s destination with new project Acre Tarn.
Debut track, This Once is a perfect example of how to balance electronic minimalism with inventive textured beats. With the right production now behind her, Etherington’s ethereal vocal channels Karin Dreijer Andersson; darkly seductive, pushing you towards the edge of a dream.
Manchester electronica duo Bernard & Edith are to blame for my untidy house. FACT. I had serious plans for a spring clean today… and Henry Hoover is just sat there looking at me with a sadness in his eye. Poppy is one of those songs that makes you drop everything you’re doing, the kind of distraction you’re relieved to have.
It’s felt for a while now that Manchester’s musical resurgence has not been down to one particular movement or specific sound, more a DIY ideology that can be found in pockets of activity across the city. I’ve often likened Whalley Range based vocalist Greta Edith to Grimes with a hint of Coronation Street – she has this genuine warmth and attitude that really sets her apart from everyone else. Poppy is a stunning piece of work, dark and atmospheric – accompanied by the perfect visual representation.
Trianglecuts is an emerging project from Manchester based artist Gwendolen Osmond. Channelling the gothic electronica of Zola Jesus, The Sinner is her strongest work to date, built around an array of elemental textures and dark landscapes. Her voice is seductive and confessional, breathing above a twinkling piano arrangement. Although still in the development stage, it’s certainly exciting to see a very clear direction in both sound and vision.
Bernard & Edith are an experimental electronic duo from Manchester, comprising of Greta and Nick. I first laid eyes on them at the SWAYS Bunker supporting the majestic GREAT WAVES and Regal Safari… who I only remember for giving a terribly bland live show. In comparison, Bernard & Edith broke down the barrier between the wooden cage (in which they were performing) and the audience by displaying a level of intimacy that only the coldest heart could ignore. Greta was endearing, honest and captivating, piercing the air with her shrieks. Nick created delicate brooding soundscapes accompanied by weirdly hypnotic projections.