Gaggle: new review and exclusives!

Album cover of Gaggle's From the Mouth of the Cave- a predominantly yellow, green, brown and white drawing of an open-mouthed Medusa-like face with many other faces coming from it

You’ll probably already be aware that Gaggle have taken to the streets of London to perform a series of “Ninja Gigs” throughout June in connection with the forthcoming release of their debut album, From the Mouth of the Cave, next Monday. You can head over to our features and reviews section to find out Hayley Foster da Silva‘s opinion on this album and also watch out on the blog tomorrow for an F-Word exclusive on three Gaggle members’ top five* women artists/frontwomen. (I asked the group with the view to including a few of the best in this blog promo but I just can’t choose between them so you can have the whole lot tomorrow!)

In the meantime, I put the following quickfire question to the whole group:

I’ve heard Gaggle being described a collection of strong characters in their own right. How do you go about bringing out the best in each unique voice and style, while also getting a sense of cohesion and unity in the sound of the group?

Perpetual Crush: “Deborah got the best out of my voice by making me sing Spice Girls ‘wannabe’ slowly for several hours. She understands vocal performance in the academic sense, yes, but also the confidence it takes to sing and have passion for what you are singing about. Every time we begin to learn a new song Deborah tells us all about the context: where it came from, where the samples came from and how they make the song rad. I know that makes it sound like a song by song lecture and maybe it is but that’s really cool. When I sing Rihanna in the shower I don’t really think about why the producer has sampled chains or the importance of standing under someone else’s umbrella might be at all special but, come to think of it, I wish someone would. The other thing that’s relevant here is trust. Gaggle as a collective can’t hear everything. Maybe once transhumanism becomes the norm, that will change but, for now, we all have to trust Deborah and her judgement. She’s the eyes and the ears of the entire thing.”

JPeg: “I think the best way to answer that is to let you listen to ‘Army of Birds’. You can actually hear the different characters – from the powerful (and scary) ones to the sweet and mellifluous, we’re all given the chance to shine. And I think it sounds amazing BECAUSE of our differences, not despite them “

And here’s a snippet from Hayley’s review of the album:

“…I personally find the best way to listen to From the Mouth of the Cave is to take in the whole thing with headphones on, without any other distractions. This is because to really appreciate the music Gaggle have created on this album, you arguably need to be able to hear everything. Just a superficial listen might mean you miss part of the ambience they have created with the soundscape of drumming, sound effects, echoes and various other instruments dotted through the songs. As someone who usually likes to keep constantly busy, this is not an approach I usually take but it has definitely been worth it…”

Click here to read on and comment

Album now streaming at The Guardian website. In addition to the Rough Trade and London Underground gigs on 25 June and on 4 July respectively, Gaggle will be playing an instore gig at Banquet Records on 21 June. Their remaining “Ninja Gigs” will each be announced a few hours beforehand on the group’s Twitter page.

UPDATE: *I finally managed to choose so this will now feature three members talking about three of their top women artists/frontpeople and will be going up on the site at 15.00 on 19 June.