Boomkat Product Review:
Striking debut album of intimate and enigmatic avant-pop experiments from California's Amanda Schoepflin aka Cathedral X - landing like a scuzzy, oblique answer to the art-pop interventions of Carole Caroompas, FAY's electronic efficiencies and Madalyn Merkey's warbling, off-kilter hypnagogia. With a stripped down palette of guitar, busted electronics and tinny drum machines, Amanda records lo-fi, hauntingly honest pop deconstructions, each seemingly on the brink of collapse but tied together by a patient and overarching vision. From the top we're greeted with the tortured bliss of 'How Does The Self Be?', with scratchy electric guitar and distorted vocals imparting more passion and pathos than any big studio production you could point out, while 'Intimacy vs. Isolation' warrants the FAY and Madalyn Merkey comparisons with its surreal, chamber-like fusion of brittle rhythms and affected vocals. Again, 'No 1 Evr Told U' prods broken-down machine rhythms under fuzzy, echoic vocals, dissolving to nothing only to reappear a cappella in a style reminding of Carole Caroompas' obscure 'Target Practice', and 'Demise' feels like a faded, gutted PJ Harvey jamming out on a 2-string dollarshop guitar. 'Curious Unknown' is perhaps our favourite, mixing a desiccated dancehall beat with swooning vocal harmonies as memorable as anything from Julia Holter, and then there's the relatively epic 6-minutes of weird Latin and Raga-like guitar and coarse hollers across 'Cover Songs', and the panting urgency of 'Breath of A'.