Album Review: Gordi - Reservoir

21 August 2017 | 5:41 pm | Dylan Stewart

"A powerful debut from a driven young artist."

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Belying the tender, washed-out sound that immerses Reservoir is a quiet confidence; a rogue individualism that lays the emotions of Sophie Payten - aka Gordi - bare.

The 24-year-old's debut record is a brooding, complicated piece of work that places Payten closer to music's avant-garde than many of her contemporaries (think Aldous Harding, Airling or Amy Shark and that's just the tip of the alphabet).

Reservoir is, as a production, sometimes challenging, but ultimately rewarding and diverse enough to keep you entertained and utterly engrossed. By combining analogue and digital instruments with heavily-reverbed, multi-layered vocals on highlight Can We Work It Out, Payten takes a leaf out of Justin Vernon's playbook. In fact, she pairs up with Bon Iver member S Carey on the lovers' duet I'm Done, and the song would not be out of place on that band's 22, A Million. And even if the AutoTune effect on lead single Heaven I Know is overdone, it doesn't completely detract from the melancholic piano chords that drive the song.

Like on a Sigur Ros record, Payten gives each song on Reservoir the chance to live by itself, with most of the 11 tracks allowed at least four minutes to breathe. When combined, the result is a powerful debut from a driven young artist.   

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