ALBUM: Gazelle Twin & NYX – ‘Deep England’

A new species of performer who offers listeners an unflinching, but intensely thrilling perspective on the past, present and future; electronic artist Gazelle Twin has collaborated with NYX drone choir to create Deep England, a shadowy, graceful collection of sounds that radiate with unease.

Inspired by the tracks that formed Gazelle Twin aka Elizabeth Bernholz’s 2018 album Pastoral, and informed by British paganism and ritualistic paraphernalia, Deep England is a dark fable that serves as a warning to listeners not to get swept up in national apathy. Radically reworked and presented alongside original compositions by NYX, Paul Giovanni and William Blake, Bernholz and NYX present their vision of Britain in its “post-truth” sphere, embroidering a new tapestry of sound for these jarring and uncertain times.

The chiming bells on opening track ‘Glory’ begin the warped aural ceremony, underscored by NYX’s sublime meditative drones. The crystalline notes of the recorder break through, before Bernholz questions “Will you become the saint you want to be?” in her magnificent operatic voice, with the choir echoing her ghastly sentiments. This is dialled up to blood curdling effect on ‘Folly’, with the lyric “What species is this?” being delivered in a multitude of ways. The power of the singular and the collective voice is the lifeblood of Deep England. The fascinating ways in which they are distorted, rippled, extended or layered will keep listeners gripped throughout.

Lifted from the cult 1973 film The Wicker Man, a goose-bump inducing interpretation of ‘Fire Leap’ continues the aural séance. Overlapping recorders – instruments of nostalgic folly turned into frightening farce – are made all the more sinister by the chanted motif “Take the flame inside you / Burn and burn below”. This warped incantation bleeds into the abrupt, skittish ‘Better In My Day’. It buzzes with a nervous energy, with Bernholz and NYX snarling their way through the lyrics in frenzied, breathy fashion. They continue to “pick the wound” of tradition with morbid fascination on ‘Throne’, singing and hissing of “insolvency” and racking up debts.

The stunning vocal harmonies on ‘Jerusalem’ and the eponymous ‘Deep England’ set the cells alight. Underscored by the now familiar hypnotic drone loops, these intense hymn-like offerings cast shadows and shed light simultaneously, with the latter dissolving the ears over eight and a half minutes. Composed by Sian O’Gorman, the ominous ‘Golden Dawn’ closes the album on a heavy, but hopeful note. The title refers to The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a secret society devoted to the practice of the occult and paranormal activities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s a cinematic, aural exorcism delivered with spellbinding flair.

Whilst Bernholz’s unique vision of Britain’s past was brought vividly to life on her original record Pastoral, with the support of the NYX drone choir her vitriol is able to take its fullest, most nerve-shredding form on Deep England. It’s a phenomenal artistic accomplishment, a jarring reminder that our dark past is never too far behind us and it’s truly unlike anything you’ve heard before.

Listen to Deep England on bandcamp or Spotify

Follow Gazelle Twin on bandcampSpotifyInstagramTwitter & Facebook

Follow NYX Drone Choir on bandcampSpotifyInstagramTwitter & Facebook

Album Credits
Performers: Adélaïde Pratoussy, Cecilia Forssberg, Elizabeth Bernholz, Natalie Sharp, Ruth Corey, Shireen Qureshi and Sian O’Gorman.

Co-produced by Marta Salogni, Sian O’Gorman (NYX) and Elizabeth Bernholz (Gazelle Twin). Mixing & additional programming by Marta Salogni and mastering by Heba Kadry.

Photo Credit: Jamie Cameron

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Gazelle Twin & NYX – ‘Fire Leap’

A thrilling, nightmarish, pagan-inspired tune, Gazelle Twin and NYX Electronic Drone Choir have shared their new single ‘Fire Leap’. Taken from their upcoming album Deep England, which is set for release via NYX Collective Records on 19th March 2021, the track is a goose-bump inducing interpretation of the same song featured in the cult 1973 film, The Wicker Man.

Inspired by the songs that formed Gazelle Twin’s (aka Elizabeth Bernholz) critically acclaimed 2018 album Pastoral, Deep England continues the artist’s harrowing up of England’s “rotten past” and exploration of its uncertain future. GIHE were lucky enough to experience this collaborative effort live in 2019 at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall (read the full review here), and we were dazzled by their ghastly yet glorious performance.

Speaking about their upcoming record, Gazelle Twin & NYX comment: “Here lies our ancient future, Deep England: our hope and compassion in the chokehold of power and glory. Hand in hand, here we cry our rage: summoning a lament into the ether, a divine androgynous force, a transcendental purge of the dizzying chaos of post-truth Britain.”

Listen to ‘Fire Leap’ below and pre-order your copy of Deep England here.

Follow Gazelle Twin on bandcamp, Spotify, Instagram, Twitter & Facebook

Follow NYX Drone Choir on bandcamp, Spotify, Instagram, Twitter & Facebook

Credits for Deep England
Adélaïde Pratoussy, Cecilia Forssberg, Elizabeth Bernholz, Natalie Sharp, Ruth Corey, Shireen Qureshi and Sian O’Gorman.
Co-produced by Marta Salogni, Sian O’Gorman (NYX) and Elizabeth Bernholz (Gazelle Twin)
Mix and additional programming by Marta Salogni
Mastering by Heba Kadry

Photo Credit: Jamie Cameron

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LIVE: Gazelle Twin & NYX present ‘Deep England’ – Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre 20.11.19

An engrossing, ghastly, but intensely beautiful carousel of sound, Gazelle Twin‘s Deep England collaboration with the NYX Drone Choir is unlike anything you’ve seen or heard before. Inspired by the tracks that formed Bernholz’s 2018 album Pastoral, the joint performance at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall continued the artist’s harrowing up of England’s “rotten past” and exploration of its uncertain future.

Through the power of combined operatic voices, St. George-meets-The-Handmaid’s-Tale costumes and creative staging, Gazelle Twin (aka Elizabeth Bernholz) and her team have created a claustrophobic, charged gallop of aural anarchy with this latest endeavour. Informed by British paganism and ritualistic activity, Deep England feels almost supernatural at points, especially during ‘Fire Leap’, which is lifted from the cult 1973 film The Wicker Man. Multiple recorders and kazoos are played – instruments of nostalgic folly turned into present, frightening farce – as the choir slowly moved around the stage, chanting the lyrical motif “Take the flame inside you / Burn and burn below”, like a warped spell.

‘Better In My Day’ abruptly broke this spell, with its nervous, persistent percussion. It stands out in terms of volume and energy, with Bernholz and her chorus performing frenzied, stunted movements whilst snarling their way through the lyrics. A spotlight on a tree at the back of the stage (which has been present throughout the performance) commands Bernholz to sit under it, as the intro synth sequence to ‘Sunny Stories’ begins to play. Bernhlz delivered her dark fable under the fake foliage, gently lulling the choir into following track ‘Golden Dawn’.

‘Throne’ brought Bernholz back to centre stage and down to her knees, singing of “insolvency” and racking up debts. Eponymous track ‘Deep England’ closed the performance in the same un-nerving way it began; dimly lit, with the choir and Bernholz’s voices seething in unison. Whilst Bernholz’s unique vision was brought vividly to life on her original record Pastoral, with the aid of the NYX drone choir her vitriol is able to take its fullest, most nerve-shredding form. Deep England is a phenomenal artistic accomplishment and a jarring reminder that our dark past is never too far behind us.

Deep England Credits:
Gazelle Twin: Elizabeth Bernholz
NYX vocalists: Adelaide Pratoussy, Cecilia Forssberg, Natalie Sharp, Ruth Corey, Shireen Querishi, Sian O’Gorman
Compositions and Music Direction: Elizabeth Bernholz and Sian O’Gorman
Movement Director: Imogen Knight
Sound Associate: Peter Rice
Production and Costume Design: Chloe Lamford
Stylist: Anna Josephs

Deep England was performed as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival 2019.

Photo Credit: Jamie Cameron

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Gazelle Twin & NYX Electronic Drone Choir to perform ‘Deep England’ as part of EFG London Jazz Festival

A unique artist with razor sharp vision and uncompromising creativity; Gazelle Twin (aka Elizabeth Bernholz) has paired up with the NYX electronic drone choir once again to perform ‘Deep England’; a hair-raising transformation of her recent album Pastoral, which exhumes England’s “rotten past” and questions its uncertain future. The performance will take place on 20th November at Southbank Centre, as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival.

The collaboration was first commissioned and performed in December 2018 as part of a collaborative series at London’s Oval Space, but now Bernholz’s operatic voice will be displayed in all its glory alongside the equally as powerful voices of the NYX choir in the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Together, Bernholz and NYX use their voices, acoustic glitching, polyphonic overtone and ambient textures to bring Gazelle Twin’s Pastoral vision to life. The unique choir explore and test the limits of organic and synthetic modulation to explore the entire spectrum of collective female voice as an instrument. Their veiled Handmaid’s-Tale-esque silhouettes are a formidable sight on stage, so expect to be blown away by the power and the glory of their live show.

GIHE will be at the show, and we urge you to grab a ticket for it here.

For more information about EFG London Jazz Festival events, click here.