Their debut self-titled LP as Hydromedusae was patiently sketched through years and over seas, and comprises of eight minimal songs that weave darkly hypnotic melodies with drone-folk structures. On some songs the repeating vocal patterns, whispered, close-by and offset by distant guitar, create an diaphanous fog. Other tracks are harder edged, with garish keyboards and distortion. Drones form the basis on most compositions; organ, bass pulses or sustained guitar acting as a backdrop to monophonic vocals, with cello, piano and percussion drifting in and out of range.
Jessica Bailiff has been recording under her own name since 1998, with albums on labels such as kranky and Morc. She has also worked in numerous other projects, including Northern Song Dynasty and Clear Horizon. This release is her first output in 10 years.
Annelies Monseré has recorded since 2001, releasing long-players on Morc, Stroom and Horn Of Plenty among others. She has recently recorded acclaimed albums with the bands Distels and Luster.
Throughout their careers a mutual harmony with each other's sound has been detectable; the expansive space of Annelies' 2005 CD Helder prompted reviewers to draw reference to Jessica Bailiff, and the folk influences present throughout Jessica's work has kinship with Annelies Monseré's uniquely minimal song craft.
They have collaborated before, culminating in a number of live performances and a 2008 EP on Morc Records in which they re-worked pared down versions of each other's songs. As such, the haunted sound of Hydromedusae feels like an organic synergy of two artists who have resolutely pursued their own paths, only to find common ground.