Boomkat Product Review:
Low-key lysergic ambient pop gestures from London’s Paper Dollhouse duo, riffing on nature, domesticity, ontological rumination, and sonic deep topography in a series of fractured studio snapshots, psychedelic spikes and lush, mercurial synth strokes
“The Walled Garden is the follow up to 2018’s neon-lit ambient pop album The Sky Looks Different Here, and its sister release All The Colours Align, to form the final part of a triptych set across the plains of rural Suffolk and London. Inspired by surrounding nature, domestic routine, Maggi Payne and Henning Christiansen’s The Executioner, the release was recorded on a portable 24-track recorder and holds up a mirror to autumn the dawn and early hours, an exploration of synthesiser experiments, field recordings and snapshots of conversations that quietly define areas of personal growth, patience, curiosity, understanding and freedom.
Where the group's previous album explored an audio journey from the rain-soaked streets of East London out to the now fast eroding landscapes of Suffolk, The Walled Garden captures the after-hours ambience that falls across Astrud's childhood surroundings within the ancient London borough of Southwark, an area with a rich but hidden music landscape home to the outer edges explorations of Coil and Derek Jarman. While field recordings from Nina's studio in the rural yet equally meditative oceanside pepper the long-form synth transitions and blurred recollections of conversations and early morning reflections.
The Walled Garden invites you to take a perhaps the furthest step yet into Paper Dollhouse's unique soundworld. While the final track, a lullaby that seems to disappear as each second unravels, tells us that 'This Is Not The End', the music points to brand new directions on the horizon, through the garden and onto the path ahead.”