My Electric Family is an electronic album, as you might have guessed from the title. However, actually listening to My Electric Family might give you a different impression, as Bachelorette, neé Annabel Alpers, very frequently crafts her sounds from sampled conventional instruments, like the short guitar line that starts the album’s first track, “Instructions for Insomniacs.” Part of the effect of this approach is that My Electric Family is a much more spaceous, almost folksy album than one normally associates with electronic music. If you’re looking for ambient techno or dance-pop, there’s nothing for you here.
But if you were to look at Alpers’ creation, you’d find a mildly odd, strongly pleasant outing that’s got the same feeling throughout as having to close your eyes cause the sun is in your face. Alpers accomplishes that by stretching her gauzy, plodding instrumentation and her air-light, pleasant, multi-tracked voice to (what seem like) their limit, intoning ethereally over all of Family’s 11 tracks atop instrumentation that ranges from terrestrial to celestial, depending on how much Alpers chooses to indulge Bachelorette’s sunnier tendencies.
The most curious thing about My Electric Family is that all of its songs clock in at about the normal pop-range — under five minutes — but none of them are really pop songs, per say. They don’t have choruses or hooks, which, when you consider it, is certainly an interesting approach to writing a short song. However, it’s more intriguing than ear-catching.
Although she’s certainly got the ingredients for a really successful pop album, this isn’t it. Alpers’s plodding, seemingly aimless songs structures work out in a few places, like “Instructions for Insomniacs,” “Donkey” and “Mercurial Man.” But oftentimes, it’s easy to get lost in all of the album’s pleasantries and get hungry for something with a little more urgency. Really, stuffing in a hook here and a bridge there could only make Bachelorette’s distinctly ethereal lean more apparent, ironic as that may seem.