The Golden Filter are Penelope Trappe and Stephen Hindman; an Australian in New York, and an Ohio man with a penchant for stomping disco. Over the past year the pair leaked out some enticing material. -Solid Gold’, -Thunderbird’ and in particular -Hide Me’ are stellar dance-floor tunage – hard hitting electronic pop with a liberal feel. They furtively released these three singles, not in an overly surreptitious way but with little fanfare, cultivating intrigue and interest about the band and future material.
Voluspa delivers on this implicit promise. Along with their quality early releases it’s a further collection of top-shelf electro pop – a shelf cleared by Goldfrapp’s move to a fluffier place and Roisin Murphy’s temporary hiatus.
Trappe has an airy yet glass-like vocal – whispy and crystal clear at the same time – that weaves through the soaring analogue keys and synthesised strings programmed by Hindman to an enchanting affect. Their beats sit at the fore, and are a blend of digital and live drum sounds, that flirt with tribalism in parts.
The jarring violin stabs of opener -Dance around the Fire’ are attention seizing, which barely wanes for the rest of the record. While not avant-garde The Golden Filter sit on the edge of chart-friendly pop and the darker shades of progressive disco. Nearly every tune is a floor-filler, moving with ease between italo and nouveau-disco; hitting off dubby-electronica (-Moonlight Fantasy’) and electro-funk (-Thunderbird’) along the way. The balladry of -The Underdogs’ sails closet to commercialism, exposing some questionable Stefani-esque heart-on-sleeve lyrics, though it’s not entirely unpleasant and will work towards nailing some deserved radio play.
Aside from that, Voluspa is an assured and thought out album that maintains a trajectory of icy sharp and mesmeric nu-disco classics from beginning to end.