Against a backdrop rich with unearthly, unexpected harmonies and tenuous reconciliations between electronic and acoustic instruments, Δriel Δrcher funnels intensely private emotions through the intimately public medium of song. The artist invites you to think about her music, as well as to experience it sensually. Cerebral signposts scatter her sonic landscape, forged from acoustic instruments – cello, dulcimer, piano, guitar – and vintage synths, along with more esoteric choices such as stylophone and wine glasses. A swathe of influences – 90s pop, psychedelia, neofolk, feminism – are interleaved throughout 14 ƏNGLISH ❍UTCASTS, Ariel’s self-produced debut album on her own label Mama Steel Recordings.
Δriel grew up in London, England, listening to her parents’ Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen and Roxy Music records. She lead the primary school church choir and hymns in assembly, going on to play fiddle in a ceilidh band. At secondary school, she preferred composing songs on the keyboards in the music rooms to playing cello with the school orchestra. While studying English Literature at University, Δriel formed a touring tanztheatre company which fused electronica with contemporary dance and a postmodern bricolage sensibility. These shows, performed by up to six women, evolved into electro-rock mini-operas with live musicians and lead to studio recordings of songs featured in the shows. Perhaps because of this starting point in fine art, Δriel soft-pedals her explorations of her own body, voice and history to dance back and forth over the line between the carnal and the cerebral, without a trace of self-consciousness.
Starting out, she performed in venues such as the Notting Hill Arts Club and the Union Chapel. As band members came and went, she would perform with just a backing track. Ariel reaches for an immersive, soaring, dynamically wide-ranging sound, like an incantation or a prayer, and on her self-produced debut album 14 ƏNGLISH ❍UTCASTS she has found it. Her sound and style have drawn comparisons with cerebral artists such as Brian Eno, David Byrne, Laurie Anderson and Natasha Khan. In terms of vocal delivery, hers is more in the gutsy, soulful vein, leading to comparisons with Annie Lennox, Florence Welch, Anne Wilson and Grace Slick.