What does Gordi sound like?
Gaussian blur indie rock.
The review of Gordi – Inhuman
Sometimes when you discover a certain production style that just works with a voice and a songwriting style, you just have to go all in. That’s how I feel about Gordi’s “Inhuman”, her new EP that is themed around the trials of being human. Each track covers something different, be that celebration or loss. All the tracks use a fuzzy smudged production style that defines the EP’s mood and emotions more than the actual music itself. It’s as if gaussian blur has become a production setting.
That might sound like an odd backhanded comment but Gordi’s brand of indie folk and alt-pop is perfect for this hazy overblown nostalgia. Every tone, pad, beat and vocal note is skewed to evoke a bittersweet, sanguine nostalgia. By this I mean the pianos of “Grass Is Blue” is so fuzzy the notes peak in the mix and merge with empty electric guitar hiss undercurrents. Organs just bleed out the noise in their own subdued way. “Burn All The Time Machines” is a perfect slice of alt-pop with sludgy drum machines and Sarah McLachlan’s styled rubbery guitars. It’s catchy, with a bittersweet chorus hook but it is the production that pushes through a deep bass-rooted nostalgia. “Visitor” is the track that takes this production style to its extreme version of itself. There’s a whole layer of hollow synth atmosphere that just lets guitars openly glide and cascade over its drones. The acoustic guitar picks are paired up with piano and electric guitar so it feels huge but subtle at the same time. Like making the tiniest movement huge, everything feels overcharged and powerful.
This works excellently for more straightforward indie folk anthems like the catchy strummer “Stranger”, or the breezy ballad “Way I Go”. The latter focuses on syrupy layered vocals to drive a beautifully understated melody. Elsewhere the title track reminds me a little of St Vincent when she gets production brained in the best possible way. Are these songs great? Yes, but it is all about the production manipulation on the first few listens – the songs then come to you afterwards.
It feels odd to say an EP’s production hit me more than the actual songs. It’s for that reason, I’ve taken a while to review “Inhuman” as I needed to make sure the songs themselves were great too. I get comments about music that’s been given heavy treatment where they ask if the song is still good without it. That’s a tricky question to answer. Sometimes, like with Gordi, the production is a key element of why you fall in love with a song. Yes, you might be able to enjoy a stripped-down or band version later but it is difficult to separate song and production. Ultimately, does it matter? I think with Gordi’s “Inhuman” as a case in point – it doesn’t. If the production gets you into the music then the song itself takes you deeper, you’re still happy regardless. It just happened in a different order. Gordi knocks it out of the park again. Her style might be all hazy blur, layers and reverb but it is her style. That’s why I enjoy her music and it’s why I’ll continue to buy it.
Recommended track: Burn All The Time Machines
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