Penelope Two by Penelope TrappesRelease date: October 26, 2018
Ok, so Penelope Trappes, Australian composer/performer located in London might have been a bit too young for either being considered by David Lynch as an alternative to Julee Cruise for his Twin Peaks epic or to be recording for 4AD in its prime the late Eighties/early Nineties time. But if you haven’t forgotten either, and you shouldn’t, here is her second album with the unassuming title of Penelope Two.
So, it is all familiar, slow, dark tones a la Angelo Badalamenti meets Dead Can Dance, right? Close, but not really, Whatever Trappes picked up from others, on the evidence of this album, she was able to filter through her own ears and tongue, probably due to personal circumstances that she was able to transform into something that is at the same time familiar, but also very specific and personal.
Probably, that has something to do with circumstances in which Trappes found herself while preparing this album, where she had to comfort two friends who have suffered great family losses. Being able to transform personal empathy into music, or any other piece of art for that matter is a very delicate and sensitive process that can often become overly melodramatic.
Fortunately, Trappes, escapes all the possible trappings as evidenced on songs like ‘Bur On’, ‘Carry Me’ and ‘Maeve’, and come up with music that is at the same time emotional, engaging and able to show all the dark, but also light elements when you are involved in a situation of loss.
All of that Trappes does with obvious elements of musical maturity which came through her previous incarnations, first briefly with a Brisbane indie band that was supposed to be, as she puts it, “Mazzy Star meets Leonard Cohen” , then as experimental electronic artist in New York and later as a member of The Golden Filter duo.
What we get on Penelope Two is music that is at the same time disturbing and comforting familiar and unfamiliar (try the closer ‘Nite Hive’), everything the late night listening demands. Time for David Lynch to give Penelope Trappes a call.