October 21st 2020
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Electronica / Experimental / Folk / New Age / Magic✨
Aura streams interlock and shine out from animated floral tendrils
The maiden dances and spins with her ghosts in the realm of twilight
Mystic creatures rise in the light of meteor shows under shelter of a forest canopy
An awe-inspiring edge at the beyond with a familiar sense of ease through adventurous unknown
A gift Animal Party / Sinéad Bermingham has crafted all herself is the magic to spiral beautiful divine instruments of string vibrations, sonic electricity and environmental translations into effervescent dynamic visions. She threads the natural stylistic elements of IDM, folk, psychedelic, house, rock and electroacoustic composition to express and relate her personal pleasures and struggles. Within Enchantment, we hear an honest fluid air of concoctions that rejuvenates our imaginations and motions our contemplations into a wandering introspective journey through the ethereal wilderness of romanticism and impressionism. Animal Party has bound a MAGNIFICENT sonic tome, to heartily bestow upon us.
As if floating down the rabbit hole, “Sever” is a perfect opening piece for this visionary album… a fanfare to the serene … an overture to the tapestries of flowing energy. The reversed glass-esque and spindly sparkling electronic tones spread out from the organ-synth harmonies gives off a new age electronica hymn, set in an overgrowth orbital sanctuary. One can hear clear Sinéad's background with traditional Irish tonality… it is cathartic when we first hear her harp pluck bright chordal arpeggios. A mass of soaring vocals consumes and wavers across space-time, to be followed by Animal Party’s lead words: powerful yearning passages of isolation and the desire for comfort from another being.
The title-track, “Enchantment”, places us into a beat-bubbling driving house track, the theme for a warm cauldron snickering with its warming crackling flames and flooding opal beams of multi-colours onto hanging herbs and spices. Jubilant chimes ring out from the effected reverberant harp. While the sounds sound cheerful, Sinéad sings us an airy cautionary tale of a material fixation now turned shadow that enchanted her, tangling her thoughts on mutual relationships and emptiness when that balance is non-existent. Part of Animal Party’s magic is the simplicity and openness to her lyrics, allowing us her permission to interpret them with our own special lens.
We come to a moment of pause in "Levitate"… a refreshment at a fountain circulated by willows brushing and swaying together in the winds. The harp romantically echoes across the spurting waters for a lied on emotional rest and a safe space to release hidden pains. That releasing feeling comes in when we ACTUALLY feel the elevational effect of the sliding synth halfway in, and we are fully free with a bass mechanical workout it brings.
“Evening” offers us an instrumental interlude set in a summer evening by the beach complete with a pixelated sunset. Static and fuzzy IDM foundations make for brisk dance movements with wooden percussion beats and high-snare drum patterns, with the bustle of crowds on the pier. The interlocking courtship of strings, between track collaborator Sines / Sean Bird on guitar and Animal Party on harp, makes for a passionate sweet duet, like the beautiful brushing of waves along sand.
The impact one feels from “Abyss” is immense… one can hear that this is among, if not the most personal, song Sinéad has penned. Imagine her soliloquy of inner pain and struggle… and hope, heard with simple guitar and dusty vinyl-record sound accompaniment. She exposes an imperfect yet brilliant soul of oscillating lights through cascading descending squelchy keyboard chords and dense multiplicity of echoing lilac harps…. revealing stark smeared feelings of doubt and constriction in her forward-clear and brave voice. A ballad centerpiece to melt into our own introspection of self-esteem and being.
As our passage into the second half of Enchantment, “Witch Hunt” beckons us across dark marvellous woods of gothic synthwave with notes of SNES/video game soundtracks. Ominous wavering bass tones beat against the low enveloping vocal chants. With the synthesizer and harp’s twinkling deceptive perkiness and the drum machine’s sneaky muted kick and shuffling passages, a sense of trepidation and urgency runs through us. Accentuate all this with the contrasting vocals and elegant long tone violin strokes from guest artist Camilla Jones, and Animal Party has us dashing for the hills in decorative flight.
We enter lighter airs when we come to “Small Words,” the sky palace of hypnotic grandiosity, high defying off the Irish coast. For this song, Sinéad is joined by Ais Brown, who provides their poetic charms for the lyrics and adds their voice to form an overlapping panned mist that provides a dazzling cloud formation. We hear of the simple physical and deep emotional passions of being in a loving presence. The canvas is highlighted by a simple descending harp motif alongside holy chimes on intoxicating syncopated and driving beats, giving a tangible divinity to one of life’s pure sought-out bliss.
Returning to nature’s domain per-say, “Night’s Eye” is a mesmerizing dichotomy in dreamland. Radiant light of the moon and stars showers down on a brook and its celestial energy is entered by way of the atmospheric current of dominating harp flourishes on a bed of synth chords and real overdubbed sparse toms and cymbals from Paul Geldart / Astrolope. This energy is slowly absorbed by the plants and creatures to come alive with fluorescent rocks and water surrounding them in the eccentric neon electronic dance portion of the song. However, Animal Party is careful though, as we hear in her words duplicated in a deep-vocal unison, she experiences an opposite draining effect from the eye in this realm.
We reach the last passages of this enlightened journey in the form of two instrumental quandaries. “Dwell” is a fleeting thought on a wide-open wilderness of canyon lands below and the ether above. Astonishing vastness of synth swells and arpeggiations transitioning into the solo harp breezes make for an ambience profound and treasured. This moment brings us to the finale of this sonic tome. “Fly Away.” Animal Party bestows upon us her last magical essence to perform a lullaby from outer-space, to really give us perspective of it all… life, the universe and everything… With alien-sounding sliding contours streaking across the void like comets, the vibrant high-frequency harp plucking our heartstrings, and gorgeous textured vocalables purveying messages of compassion, we have come full circle with the power Sinéad has in elevating our sights within and beyond ourselves.
There is no doubt in my mind that Animal Party is a spellbound miracle, as her music heard on Enchantment is an phantasmagorical engagement of inspirational imagination and sentimental expression 💖