IMPATIENS - "SCENE AT THE RIVER" CS
ALTERED STATES TAPES:
Amelia Besseny is the other half of experimental duo Troth (of which I’m the other half), Scene At The River is her debut full-length release (following a limited, self-released tape of rough recordings earlier in the year).
I first encountered Amelia while organising a series of gigs after moving back to my hometown of Newcastle, Australia two years ago. In the ten years I’d spent smoking it up in the big smoke, not a great deal had changed in Newcastle - the one guy who was actively making interesting music still made it in his garage, most of the few others who had previously no longer did. Everyone else in the city (town with cranes?) continued playing in covers bands and believing that the true path of virtue lay in being “signed” based on your JJJ Unearthed profile.
The exception to this was Impatiens. I first heard the few songs Besseny had available online after contacting the Newcastle Conservatorium in a last-bid seeking interesting local artists, one of her fellow staff members pointing me in her direction. The songs were relatively simple, yet experimental-inflected takes on synth-pop. Not only was she creating these in the complete cultural isolation of Newcastle, she was performing the songs herself live using a rudimentary assortment of hardware, a rare occurrence anywhere. The early Impatiens track, ‘Osaka’ (released on a compilation tape) is an undeniable pop hit.
Besseny is a trained vocalist, however the instrumental compositions in her tracks have quickly evolved beyond being serviceable backings for her voice and now have a distinct character entirely of their own. Scene At The River’s recordings were made over a period of close to a year in-between other projects, so there are various moods captured throughout. ‘Cold Hands’ is possibly the closest to a straight pop song in the collection, ‘Lost Translations’ representing the furthest reach in the opposite direction. Along with them comfortably sits four more tracks that take Besseny’s grounding in classical and folk modes, but uses these approaches to reimagine a refreshingly unique interpretation of rhythm and pop.
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