I’ve always been obsessed with conjuring cinematic images to compliment some of my favourite songs, and it’s clear that this urge to put images to sound is also inherent in Astrud Steedhouder’s solo project Paper Dollhouse, named incidentally after the 1988 cult horror film Paperhouse. Steedhouder’s dark, gothic minimal exploration is highly influenced by the nature of deconstruction, an exploration of haunting silence clearly influenced by her cinematic experience, “I watched the film when I was about 10 and was really drawn in by it. Something about the quality and tone of it, the psychology and aesthetic of that struck a chord and has been with me ever since." Recorded entirely in Steedhouder’s own kitchen and bathroom, A Box Painted Black, resonates with unobtrusive background flickers of everyday life; slamming doors, running water, trains passing and children playing. What makes these additions fit seamlessly within the narrative of the record is the overall effect of haunting multi layered intensity running entirely throughout.

‘I Dreamt You More Than Ever’ screams to be pieced alongside a black and white interpretative barrage of art house imagery, whereas ‘Daises’ resonates with paired down suggestions of early 1960s jingly electronica. However the sound is explored, Steedhouder’s utilisation of effect pedalling, scratching acoustic guitars and minimal electronica create an atmosphere of completion, but yet also suggests a level of raw, unfinished artistic creation, ready to be explored and evolved through intense contemplation. Somehow the record reeks simplicity but is also absolutely dense in its thought out wholeness.

A hypnotic experience, the album deserves to be pondered and enjoyed with headphones and an imagination ready to run riot, in which the listener can re-create the barren post-apocalyptic landscapes which Steedhouder unusually describes as so influential to her musical creativity.