Gordian Stimm – ‘Your Body In On Itself’ album review

Gordian Stimm Sean Maeve Westall Your Body In On Itself album review Amateur Pop

Album cover artwork: Jack Westall

Featuring recordings made between 2013 and 2020, the six songs on this debut record span genres and tackle all kinds of vital subjects as Gordian Stimm (Maeve from itoldyouiwouldeatyou) tries to make sense of tangible and imagined physicality and emotions.

The LP opens with the 7-minute ‘Bleeding Out in a Septic Tank’ – a track full of all kinds of glitches, piano notes and samples as Gordian Stimm talks about having ‘shit for brains’ and examines the power of psychiatry. The fractured pop sound falls somewhere between Times New Viking, Thom Yorke and Sophie as her synthesised vocals float over a big bass sound: ‘I’ve been validated well and truly past my sell-by date’. It finishes with emotional cries of ‘I click my heels but I’m still here’. ‘Pia Mater (Sorry Mate)’ swiftly follows and this song veers more into Baths-style modern electronica with  poignant words: ‘Another thought to undermine, another feeling stuck inside’; ‘ Truth hurts though I don’t get the point, my teeth will chew through the memories in situ’.

With lines like ‘keeping the fantasy alive, like a puritan flailing, I will worship you for I live for your little sighs’, ‘Miscellaneous Body Parts’ is a love song of sorts. It opens in more traditionally ‘accessible’ style but touches upon important and vital subjects as it veers to a sound that will delight fans of ‘Wind in the Wires’-era Patrick Wolf: ‘Fold out your, our, my miscellaneous body parts’. These gothic fairy tale vibes continue through to ‘The Very Best of Friends’ – especially in its opening lines that can’t fail to make you itch: ‘Lice! Lice! Have found a way to scurry into my skull. Now that I’m a mother to them I can feel fulfilled’. Gordian Stimm then discusses tapeworms, parasites and shopping at Waitrose and how living in this toxic environment has made her feel like ‘I’ve finally finally found my home’. It appears to us to be an examination of how toxic relationships can affect actions, mindsets and personalities – and not always for the better…

‘Song for Self Help’ is another very personal piece (Maeve really does open up in these songs) bathed in electronica that covers subjects including body dysmorphia, the importance of mental health and the impact of self-harm: ‘My body is too fucked and weird. Nothing that I do will change it’; ‘I can’t seem to work it out what the fuck I am so now I’m leaving bruises on my face’. The closing ‘Synthetic Retinas’ is another powerful piece that offers an insight into Maeve’s innermost thoughts as her pained vocals express how ‘I can feel something that maybe I haven’t felt before’ before moving on to a fittingly climactic finish.

 

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