Release Date: May 26, 2009
Record label: Drag City
Genre(s): Rock, Pop
However opaque some of her ideas, Annabel Alpers is transparent when it comes to album titles. The New Zealander's last release as Bachelorette, 2008's Isolation Loops, was indeed a solo affair that, with its crackerjack melodies and lush, layered self-harmonies, made as much gorgeous electro-pop noise as any one-person project, but also erred on the side of solipsism. On that record, Alpers probed evergreen themes of loneliness and alienation via technology, peeling off lyrical barbs about vacant modern relationships (memorably in "Duet Minus One", "I went to his house/ He offered me food/ I only accepted tea/ Because it's gluten-free") in her aloof, robotic lisp.
One of cinema’s most sympathetic recent characters is a post-human robot who likes to unwind, after a long day of rooting around the dusty carcass of big-box America, by studying a Betamax tape of Hello, Dolly! Each time he watches it, there’s this haunting suspension, in which the charm and innocence of a flickering dance number on a rusty screen make the world seem simple and good, even though everything else in the frame has been painstakingly arranged to prove otherwise. Annabel Alpers is casually, unsettlingly good at producing this effect. Nearly every song (including one called “Dream Sequence”) on My Electric Family, her second full-length under the Bachelorette moniker, has a bright, jubilant point of coalescence about midway through, where the themes that have been twitching and burbling about on their own come together and imply resolution, contentment, sufficiency.