This week’s Crack Mix comes courtesy of Penelope Trappes.
Trappes is perhaps best known as one half of The Golden Filter, the much-loved live duo she formed with long-term collaborator Stephen Hindman. Together the pair have spent the better part of a decade traversing both indie and dance line-ups with their adroit brand of emotive electronic pop, which pairs her vocals and arresting stage presence with Hindman’s deft synth work.
Recent years have seen Trappes turn her creative attention to her solo work, with two LPs entitled Penelope One and Penelope Two – the latter of which was released in October of this year via Houndstooth.
As the eponymous titles suggest, the content of these two albums is deeply personal and markedly different from The Golden Filter’s output. Trappes cites Scott Walker and early 4AD releases as influences as well as Camella Lobo’s funereal pop project Tropic of Cancer, and the resultant albums are by turns beautiful and melancholic; crackling spectral soundscapes orbiting her delicate whisper-sung vocals.
Trappes has relayed in interviews that Penelope Two is a contemplation on losses experienced by her close friends and herself, at times evoking raw grief but also bearing elements of catharsis and light. Her Crack Mix mines similar territory, blending drone and mostly instrumental tracks with ASMR-inducing spoken word and sombre ballads, such as Sibylle Baier’s The End and the traditional Irish folk song She Moves through the Fair. Heavy with both hope and portent, it’s a moving listen from a deeply centred artist.
Penelope Two is out now via Houndstooth