Exclaim!'s Staff Picks: Avalon Emerson's '& the Charm' Is Clear-Eyed Reflection from a Consummate Party-Starter

BY Alex HudsonPublished Jun 13, 2023

American-born, Berlin-based dance DJ Avalon Emerson evidently absorbed a lot of influences during her time behind the decks, as her debut album touches on throbbing four-on-the-floor beats ("Dreamliner"), heavy-lidded dream pop ("The Stone," "A Dam Will Always Divide") and, best of all, crystalline synthpop (instant song-of-the-year contender "Astrology Poisoning").

On the feather-light "Karaoke Song," Emerson catches up with an old friend (or possibly a past flame) by gently exhaling a lifetime's worth of get-to-know-you questions: "What time zone do you see the moon from? / Are you missing your home? / What did you wear on Halloween? / Does your life now make you feel complete?" The chorus, however, suggests how she really feels: "Forgot and I don't want to know." Like much of the gorgeous & the Charm, it's a clear-eyed moment of morning-after reflection from a consummate party-starter.

(Another Dove), (One House)

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