Avalon Emerson loves the desert. This is not only evident in her new video for »Astrology Poisoning« in which she can be seen standing in a post-apocalyptic dune landscape. The desert, both inhospitable and beautiful, runs like a thread through Emerson’s new album, which surprisingly reveals the internationally successful DJ as an indie-electronica singer. Working with the producer Bullion, nine songs were created that soar above the clouds. With »& the Charm«, Avalon Emerson manages the balancing act between gentle soundscape and idiosyncratic micro-doses of euphoria. The ambivalence of the lyrics is striking. »Closer to the sun/Just hit 31/The ring ran out of fun/And now it’s warm like bath water«. This reads like a commentary on Avalon Emerson’s DJ career. What once felt like fun still feels good, but has become convenient and mechanical.
But the lyrics also make reference to global warming. With »And you return again The water rises, closing in«, it eventually becomes clear that the dramatic change she is singing about has an autobiographical and global level. But there is no yearning for an ideal world, given the striking lightness with which these sombre lyrics are combined with the music. Rather, it is precisely in the parallelism of autobiographical and planetary change, each with the bleakest of prospects, that a new attitude to life is envisaged in a wonderfully casual way, something like a post-pragmatic receptivity to beauty. Exploring that seems to me to be the real appeal of the record.
& The Charm