Gordi at Omeara
It’s not often that you hear acoustic folk and electronic music go hand in hand in well-crafted experimentation. That’s exactly what Australian singer-songwriter Gordi brought to the Omeara stage. The deep, rich tones of her voice were enough to warm up a wintry Monday evening as she performed tracks from her debut album Reservoir, as well as earlier EPs that have earned her a following of dedicated fans.
After a minor technical hiccup, moody red lighting soon revealed the opening song. Album track Myriad set the scene with a keyboard, melancholic undertone, and vocoder for vocal distortion, which made frequent appearances throughout the night and enforced Gordi’s signature hybrid sound. The artist explored an array of sounds to further show this off, from her digitised harmonies in Wanting alongside her acoustic guitar, to the looped vocals of Heaven I Know, which began with the hypnotic, repeated whispers of “one, two, three” and steadily built up. One could observe the concentration and attention to detail that Gordi puts into the production of her performances.
This production was an impressive pillar of the show. To say it brought the album to life would be a cliché, but that’s what the band and live arrangements achieved, creating an expansive sound to the point where it sounded nearly unrecognisable. The drums were a thunderous addition to the usually mellow tracks, taking centre stage in Can We Work It Out, whilst the synths encapsulated everything electronic on record, with an anthemic power at times. The trumpet was a refreshing presence, though it was more often absorbed into the background than fanfare. All these electro-acoustic layers paired unexpectedly well with Gordi’s microphone effects and the result verged on dreamlike. Less can be said about the stage production, as the band – and the singer herself – were often hidden in light, smoke or shadow. Or, maybe this was part of the melancholic mystery.
Despite the deliberate robotics, songs were performed with pained emotion. Proving that her voice works just as well on its own, some of the most beautifully haunting moments were when Gordi’s contralto resonated, effect-free. She seemed more comfortable darting around the lower end of her range, but rare moments of falsetto were equally chilling. She possesses the vocal depth of Florence and the Machine, combined with the electronic Imogen Heap and softer influence of Bon Iver… unusual but captivating.
Gordi shared, through limited (but entertaining) stage talk, that she almost didn’t make it to London after a flight from Iceland was cancelled. Following an electric set that culminated in an eclectic cover of Linkin Park’s In the End, the audience were undoubtedly relieved they hadn’t missed out.
Photos: Guifré de Peray
For further information and future events visit Gordi’s website here.
Watch the video for Bitter End here: