Often you come across an artist whose music is so manifold that is defies explanation, it’s hard to put into words how these sounds materialise without it sounding like a sentence from Lewis Carroll. Gordian Stimm, our opener for August 25th, has a foot in this realm as her music often transcends the expected or ‘linear’, finding its most poignant moments in those that fly in the face of mainstream. But, let me try to string some words together… because it’s not every day that you have such an interesting, experimental artist opening your first live sesh ever!
The brainchild of Leeds-based Maeve Westall, Gordian Stimm started releasing music in late 2019. Don’t let that fool you, alongside being a member of emo 6-piece itoldyouiwouldeatyou, Maeve has been writing and recording since 2013. This timeline adds to the depth of her sound, for example the critically acclaimed Your Body In On Itself from April last year delves into deep rooted themes of self, existence and identity. Released on independent label, Amateur Pop Incorporated, this project “navigates their relationship to their own body, autism and social structures with disarming honesty and destabilising surrealism.” Gordian Stimm is intimate, honest and sinuous.
Gordian Stimm defies categorisation in a way similar to queercore, or Dada, or even Björk – the music takes you to places you don’t expect, and sometimes places you don’t really want to be. Nightmarish moments are spliced between sarcasm, wit, piano or birdsong. Take, ‘The Very Best of Friends’, from the aforementioned Your Body, in which images of lice in your skull and tapeworms in your spines are transposed into talk of “massive credit ratings” and shopping at Waitrose.
You are confronted with a whirlwind of genres and sounds, it’s experimental, electronic with tinges of Crystal Castles or SOPHIE mixed with the post-punk energy of, say, Squid. At times it feels like you’ve been dropped into a circuit board, or living out the plot from Night School Studio’s supernatural mystery, Oxenfree.
Her most recent release was the instrumental EP, Flirty Lucre for Public Sector. A compilation of synthetic and natural sounds, it’s a cyberpunk dystopia – concluded with a 10-minute piano solo (what else would we expect?!) In addition to this, she recently produced, engineered and mixed the debut album by Slash Fiction, which leaves us wondering if there’s anything she can’t do…?
We can’t wait to hear what Maeve will bring us during her live session at Wharf Chambers on August 25th, hey – if you have a great time, you can even see her again at Headrow House the following weekend! She’s bagged a spot at Superfriendz’s ‘This Must Be The Place’ alongside the likes of Big Joanie and Bo Ningen. What a week for fans of Gordian Stimm!
Take a listen for yourself: