Ahead of the final UK performance of her critically-acclaimed Pastoral album this Friday, we spoke to Elizabeth Bernholz, better known by her stage name Gazelle Twin, about the inspiration behind the album, her time spent filming in Epping Forest, and what's next for Gazelle Twin.
Who is Gazelle Twin?
Gazelle Twin is a host to multiple effigies in a post-pagan wilderness.
How would you describe your music to somebody who hasn't heard it before?
A pest-control officer recently visited my home to take out a wasp's nest. He noticed my music equipment and asked me what my music sounded like. I told him that I try to make music that feels like it's either trapped inside one's body, OR that one's body has been suspended into another world and is flying through space blindfolded. Actually, I didn't, I just told him what I always say: that it's sometimes a bit creepy, sometimes very emotional, and sometimes fun to dance to.
What is the inspiration behind your album Pastoral?
English heritage, and a consummation of all its darkest and most long-held, harmful traditions. When writing the record, I was often thinking about what it means to be "English" in these times. My ancestral heritage is 0% English, yet here I am, cultivated into an adult in this strange, quite hostile place with its fairly sordid history, and which still holds itself in such high-regard. These things need fierce questioning, unpicking, exposing, and eventually smashing to bits.
Your jester character stalks the Epping Forest pollards in the video for Pastoral track ‘Glory’. Why Epping Forest?
It was largely for the convenience of it being on the London Underground, for a film crew to access, but it became a location that was essential to the mood and the spirit of the record, and that song. The place still haunts me now. We spent a lot of time there over two days making the film with Director, Tash Tung. We got to experience different light, some of the inhabitants, and many dogs.
This will be your last UK performance of Pastoral. What's next for Gazelle Twin?
I'm getting on with writing new things; for myself and for other projects. I'm trying to grow my musical world a little more into new territory, wandering down some hidden paths etc. There will be more effigies on the way, in forms not yet realised.
Gazelle Twin presents Pastoral this Friday 13 September at Mirth, Marvel and Maud, with support from prolific Waltham Forest resident and experimental musician Helm.
Pastoral is part of The People's Forest season - a series of events exploring our relationship with Epping Forest, interrogating the deep bond we have with forests and woodland, and how this relationship is culturally determined.
There are just a few tickets remaining for this Friday’s performance. Click here to find out more and to buy tickets.