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***HAMERKOP is a pair of Baltimore-based sound nerds: ANNABEL ALPERS, the composer, singer and instrumentalist formerly of New Zealand’s BACHELORETTE, and ADAM COOKE, a Baltimorean drummer/audio engineer with credits that include Beach House, Wye Oak and Future Islands. Together, they have created a song-cycle that contrasts the often-mundane (yet often satisfying) everyday world with that of the idealized, longed-for fantasy, to find the spaces in between these things, the place where we all feel good about our existence. Hamerkop’s debut, Remote, started as an exploration of the sonic beauty in Alpers’ collection of field recordings from her homeland and travels around the world. Looped and sampled, they became a set of instrumental sounds of their own, and when played live in a multiple-speaker, surround-sound experience, their effect was transporting. The finished album blends these expansive sounds in choral layers of synths and vocals, with a kaleidoscopic, almost psychedelic quality, all of it anchored by Cooke’s Kraut-minimal drumming. Remote is a natural progression from the criminally-underrated Bachelorette catalog—seeking catharsis through the contextualizing of personal texts into lush songscapes, using the chill of synth-pop to mask the fallible human soul hidden behind it. Far away from her native New Zealand with a new life and family in America, Annabel strove to find elements of her old identity in new environs, building songs out of sonic scraps from remote places, as if she were sewing a blanket in which to wrap them all.