There are some albums that come around and they make you stop in your tracks with the pure musical delight they are. Brisbane based Jerm is Stephanie Ganfield and she released her debut, self titled album on October 22nd. Jerm’s style I would describe as experimental electro-industrial with gothic overtones.
The delicate fluctuating rhythm free flows into the distortion and the gorgeously sensual vocals alight it all and this is just the beginning of the album with “White Lies“. It graduates in power and the synths sprinkle down. The single. “Make Your Mind” is a little creepy with the whispered lyrics asking you to make your mind up and yet there is this glorious chorus that sweeps you skyward. “At Night” has an odd syncopation but it works giving the song an even more languid feel, as though there is a hopelessness in the darkest hours of the night.
Her voice is mesmerizing in “Left Behind“, a single released back in 2018 under the moniker Germ, and the electronics just highlight the sweetness and purity of the singing. It is exciting to hear something that is experimental and so stimulating, which brings us to “Gem” with bursts of noise like mini fireworks erupting in the background. Slow and thought provoking with so much movement within the track. There is the brief interlude with the instrumental “Dissect” just before another single, “Brain Candy” and it is just extrodinary. Musically it is beautiful and expansive, with harsh edges, ready to hook into your skin and the concept if you take away what makes a female look feminine, still the sweetness and colour is all in the brain, that which makes you. Final track is “Beg”, that takes on a heartbeat that will, at any given moment, go into tachycardia. A beautiful way to end.
The production is great and the music has such near visible texture and a vibrancy that is breathtaking. As for Ganfield’s vocals, they are true and clear, combined with the darker lyrical content, you could be forgiven for thinking she is an angel who lost her way in this dirty world and to be fair, lucky for us. Even if you are not into industrial music, do not let this deter you from having a listen to Jerm.