The corpse-like faces in the sparse black and white cover image prepare you for a bleak set of songs in which emotions seem to be strained to breaking point.
The album is the first collaboration between composer/pianist Kit Downes and photographer/singer Paula Rae Gibson who comes from a background in jazz and experimental music.
The abstract minimalist arrangements bring to mind the eerily detached broken-songs of Scott Walker or Carla Bozulich. Hushed meditations on life and death follow intensely personal trains of thought
"Where's the freedom?" is the rhetorical question posed in the haunted Strange Dream. The line "I look to the sky" is repeated in Tell Me Why but there's no celestial help on hand.
Love is likened to a Black Hole and, as the eight-track, 30 minute album progresses, there's no light at the end of a dark tunnel.
The lack of respite from the despairing mood makes this a difficult record to love but it stands as a powerfully honest expression of self doubt and grief.
Listen to Emotion Machine at Bandcamp