Saint Dymphna is full of schizophrenic arrangements, but they are recorded crystal clear.
Historically speaking, Saint Dymphna was a beautiful lass beheaded by her Irish chief of a father when she refused to marry him after her mother’s death. Legend says that her burial place is known to cure mental illness. But Saint Dymphna is the newest release by experimentalist, Brooklyn-based foursome Gang Gang Dance, who sound like they could benefit from a visit to the saint’s grave, judging by the schizophrenic arrangements found here. We start in a psychedelic kaleidoscope of percussion and Asian-inspired synths (“Bebey”), jump to techno blips (on the aptly named “House Jam”), and then find that, most surprisingly, Gang Gang goes hip-hop with British MC Tinchy Stryder on “Princes.” One thing is constant: frontwoman Lizzi Bougatsos continues to channel Kate Bush’s moans, whispers, and wails, with a dash of M.I.A.-like grunts. Most refreshingly, the band seems to have climbed out of the cardboard box where they’d been recording and into a real studio—Saint Dymphna is crystal clear and headphone ready.