Teresa Winter returns with a definitive new album of lush, feverish rave mutations, dream-pop and ambient noise that’s highly recommended if yr feeling Cosey, A.R. Kane, A Guy Called Gerald, Laila Sakini.
‘Motto Of The Wheel’ is a supernaturally compelling, definitive opus providing a life-giving bounty of warped ‘90s rave mutations, dream-pop and ambient noise, enchanted by ohrwurming vocal hooks and saturated in ravishing colour and frontier air. It’s Teresa’s most accomplished and significant album since she debuted in 2015 – its richly layered and psychedelic nature speaking to her experience growing up in Bridlington, on a key liminal zone of the East Yorkshire coast, where she was just as inspired by formative studies in classical music as the dance-pop tunes blasting from arcades and a fairground by the beach.
With the benefit and gauzy fidelity of hindsight, Winter typically draws on her nostalgia with a mix of raw nerve, penetrative observation and careful emotional intelligence to create her most spellbinding, personalised and expansive record; one adorned with artwork by her father, beautifully hung in place by Rashad Becker’s exquisite mastering, and cut to 2 x LPs.
Like a palimpsest of memories smudged with sun, salt, and sugar, the baker’s dozen songs to ‘Motto Of The Wheel’ follow up on Teresa’s non pareil, inspirational reputation with a mix of ravishing ecstasy and end-of-earth melancholy that only she can pull quite off like this. Her kaleidoscopic influences from overripe ‘90s rave-pop to Eastern European folk and the post-industrial occult remerge in abundant variegations, entwining her trade as musicologist with her reading of radical love, and the tarot card for Goddess Fortuna, into a celebration of seaside life’s chance, ephemeral joys and belly aches – artfully identifying the way it plays a crucial, almost parasitic function or counterpoint to ideas of “urban” and “pastoral”, or “bright” and “bleak” in British culture – a site of escape, transformation/transgression, and flux.
Since her earliest works, Teresa’s practice poetically absorbs from myriad sources, and never more so than in ‘Motto Of The Wheel.’ From its introductory jungle-tekno headrush to passages of wind-whipped romance and headfreeze ambient beauty, Teresa’s poetic arrangements of vocals and sound design surely achieve a new high water mark in her catalogue. The street soul swoon of ‘Emptiness Is An Excess’ and spine-tracing extended melody of ‘Does He Love Me?’ are instant anthems, while her devilish playfulness bleeds thru in samples of kids tombstoning off Bridlington’s harbour wall into the cold North Sea, and the cosiness of UK TV gold, all gilded with original vocals that range from wind-wrenched, shoegaze-like to ecstatic, each blessed with her patented form of emotional punishment at its most pop-wise yet uncompromising.
For purposes of disambiguation, the motto of the wheel is “”WEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!