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Surreal Appeal Gently Deranged

Surreal Appeal’s beautifully engaging record Gently Deranged showcases northern electro at its memorising best.

Released: 4 June 2021
Gently Deranged

Surreal Appeal are a three-piece all-female group from Sheffield featuring two former members of The Cuckoo Clocks – Tracy Deakin and Sophie Toes – along with their erstwhile live and recording engineer, Grace Griffin.

It’s been a rollercoaster couple of years for the group, who’ve had life-changing situations including the birth of a baby and a transgender epiphany, which has enabled the band’s evolution. Describing their music as “witch-like stories told over haunting electronic beats”, the group have produced an album which is full of variation.

Lead single ‘Do As You’re Told’ is atmospheric and exuberant. The band’s deft addition of electronic beats accompanied by thought-provoking lyrics relating to age and conforming to social standards makes this the stand-out track. ’Responsibilities’ is exceptional, a steady alternative pop song which transforms into a shimmering dance track with quirky, funk undertones.

‘Let’s Make A List’ includes pleasing harmonies and oozes sweet symphonic tones throughout. Closing track ‘Dangerous Dependency’ ushers the album into an absorbing chaos, ranging from chilling vocals to punchy dance beats.

While their influences stem from sixties experimental electronic bands such as White Noise and United States Of America, Surreal Appeal's sound remains distinguishably fresh. Eerie and delightful sounds have become inextricably intertwined on the record. For all its surface simplicity, the shimmering synths and beats alongside tranquil vocals are nothing short of excellent.

by Daniel Atherton (he/him)
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