No Identity

Back in 2011, Kelli Schaefer released Ghost of the Beast, a beautiful fusion of simple jazz-toned vocals and synth-rich electronic noise, with the occasional sonic detour in grittier directions. No Identity feels like a continuation of that movement, delving deeper into those thumping rhythms and darker, more distorted corners. Schaefer’s voice feels less intimate and more like an encompassing force, especially with songs like “Holy Shotgun,” as she bursts through the choruses over driving bass and chugging guitar riffs that are eclipsed by a somber synth outro. The album calls to mind powerhouses like St. Vincent or PJ Harvey, especially with songs like “Mind Is a Cone” and “Underground.” The second track, “Big Black Box,” is a true testament to Schaefer’s songwriting prowess, with its clear and precise build, adhering to a pop sensibility while staying true to its own somber tones as it sinks slowly back into its chorus, “before I get buried in a big black box.”