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brooklynite elizabeth harper's first musical offerings appeared in the form of personal singer / songwriter fare-her airy vocals paired only with quiet strums of acoustic guitar. but having a long-held desire to make electronic music, harper recruited producers mark richardson and scott rosenthal to assist in achieving her desired sound, and electro-pop outfit class actress was born. the trio wasted no time in assembling their 'journal of ardency' ep, which grizzly bear's chris taylor released on his terrible records imprint in early 2010. the five songs circulated widely, garnering acclaim and comparisons to human league, depeche mode, and early madonna at each music journal stop.
now settled in with the folks at carpark, harper and co. put forth their debut long-player, 'rapprocher'. the album sees her playing a similar part to journal's playful lovelorn diva, but it pushes the ep's proto-electro revisionism into new directions. tracks like 'love me like you used to' and 'hanging on' swaddle the record's heavy disco beats in diaphanous sheets of delay, and the bouncing bass of 'weekend' make it a prime candidate for a feel-good summer hit. harper remains the force that binds the songs into a cohesive statement, her winking coo darting about in the deep drums and lofty arpeggios, and her passion - backed mostly with electronics' summons thoughts of yaz's alison moyet. in concurrence with the title ('rapprocher's french for 'bring closer'), the candid, sincere lyrics meld with the atmosphere, enveloping the listener into class actress's world of 21st century romanticism. elizabeth harper, a former drama major from los angeles, had been writing delicate, wistful songs of longing and detachment for several years when she met musician and psychoanalyst-in-training mark richardson in 2009 and asked him to remix one of her tracks. their creative chemistry was instantaneous - mark's production style was cerebral but sensual, relying heavily on vintage synths and drum machines, and influenced by '80s bands like human league and depeche mode while still conscious of modern club sounds steeped in hip hop and house. it perfectly complemented the melancholy undertone in harper's songs and revealed in them an urge towards ecstatic abandon. the record is the soundtrack for a tragic love affair conducted in european discos and new york nightclubs, via smart phone disconnection and jet-lag disorientation, from within the dull opacity of luxurious hotel rooms and anti-anxiety medication. it's the story of a relationship that's yearning to go another round. harper's secrets and richardson's beats liberate the listener and freedom reigns on the dance floor. this is sensual music about tragic romance and the eternal longing for what you can't have. where journal was the secret diary, 'rapprocher' is the love letter.
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