Gordi: Inhuman (EP) [Album Review]

Inhuman (EP)
Jagjaguwar [2022]

Gordi is the stage name adopted by Sophie Payten, an Australian artist once described as “folktronica,” for her unique mix of simple acoustic folk songs with lush atmospheric electronica and the heavy reverb and studio effects that give her voice an otherworldly feel. “Way I Go” opens with a strummed acoustic guitar, while the closing “Grass Is Blue” is shaped by some lovely piano playing, giving these songs and much of the EP a tone and texture close to Taylor Swift’s most recent releases, working in collaboration with The National’s Aaron Dessner.

Lyrically, in the title track Gordi takes on the struggle to fit in and find self-acceptance once you realize you’re never going to fit in, while “Burn All the Time Machines” tells the world what they can do with all those “reunions and birthdays” that drain away “the best of me.” Meanwhile, “Grass Is Blue” describes a strategy to recover from a romantic break-up, by declaring opposites to be true: “sky is green, and the grass is blue.”

Lush ambient textures, rich with synth washes that absorb other organic instrumentation in these essentially melodic pop songs, drenched at times in studio effects magic. This combination proves especially effective in the strong pop song delivery of “Stranger,” and the richly orchestrated bell tones that show up toward the end of “Visitor.” With two full length studio releases on Jagjaguwar, and collaborations with the likes of Bon Iver, Big Red Machine, and The Tallest Man on Earth, and tours with the likes of Of Monsters and Men and Fleet Foxes, this latest 6 song EP reveals Gordi as an artist equipped to make the next big step into the pop limelight.

“Way I Go” / “Stranger” / “Visitor”

Taylor Swift (Dessner era) / Phoebe Bridgers / Ethan Gruska

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Brian Q. Newcomb

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