Gordi: Our Two Skins

Gordi is an indie pop, folktronica-adjacent artist whose music career quickly grew from writing her debut EP in a college dorm to international, sold-out concerts. The singer–who released her first full-length album, Reservoir, in 2017–employs a blend of emotionally-charged, traditionally simple songs and modern, abstracted production techniques on her second project Our Two Skins. The tracks are lush, with Gordi’s strong voice and a creative approach to merging styles standing out as her strongest assets. Even when the singer struggles to establish a clear artistic vision, the album remains highly enjoyable and passionately raw.

Gordi is at her best on the project’s first track, “Aeroplane Bathroom.” Beginning with a lovely combination of piano and vocals, the song becomes multidimensional with what appears to be ambient sounds recorded in an airplane. This blend of conceptual and minimal styles, complemented by memorable lyrics, disappointingly fades from view through the rest of the album–or at least fails to meet the opener’s level of success. Still, other tracks are enjoyable and impactful. “Radiator” is a purely heart-wrenching song in which Gordi’s vocals burn themselves into the listener’s mind; they’re pained, tearful, and accompanied by stylized piano that captures the ache of the song’s story. But even with this success, the project can’t help but feel a little directionless. Though all the songs are well-crafted, there is a sense that Gordi doesn’t fully know herself as an artist. This manifests in a tracklist that jumps from the sorrowful and quiet “Aeroplane Bathroom” to the layered and up-beat “Unready.” It’s a disruptive shift that makes the album feel unfocused; when it becomes all too clear that Gordi wears her Bon Iver influence on her sleeve, the album can sound a bit derivative. There is success in each track, but Gordi’s vision doesn’t take control often enough to make them fully her own.

Our Two Skins is an album caught between Gordi’s underdeveloped musical identity and songs which are undoubtedly good. It feels like the singer is searching, both in her lyrics and projects, for answers and relatability. When on “Volcanic” Gordi sings “I have these moments where I panic…so eruptive and destructive,” we get a glimpse into the mind of a woman exploring deeply personal subjects through art. Our Two Skins, then, can be seen as a piece of art exploring the deeply personal idea of artistic identity. The album may not establish who Gordi is as an artist, but when her ideas do take hold, they glow with emotion and talent.

Rating: 7.0/10