Math and music, the two universal languages. One exists in a vacuum without room for empathy, and the other is colored by just about every emotion an artist can muster. Often we focus on the sadness of music, especially in cases where circumstances are inherently upsetting (A Crow Looked at Me, Carrie & Lowell). Seeing a reflection of happiness in colder feelings is a rare take, but Cork-based producer Kelly Doherty, aka Gadget and the Cloud, proves we’re ready for more like it.

In describing the origin of the record, Doherty told Nialler9 that she wanted to show a more sensitive and adaptable side to the electronic scene. “Songs For Sad People To Dance To traces the more introspective, quieter moments of a lifestyle associated with good times being mandatory. It charters the emotions of isolation, anxiety and the desire for meaningful connection and earnest emotion in a mostly superficial existence.” She implies that the record is directed at people who endure last call at the bar by themselves, staring at their final few drops of whiskey, but it stands alone too, for anyone that seeks a different experience altogether. And perhaps that’s why Songs For Sad People... stands out.

Anyone can enjoy Gadget and the Cloud’s cross-meshing of melodies and percussion. Often, the songs take a new direction halfway through, like in the record’s (ironically?) strongest cut, 'So Shy.' Fans of Boards of Canada will understand the purpose of sparse synth melodies, and bedroom pop enthusiasts will appreciate chirps from clipped vocals and 8-bit sound effects, notably on 'Melting,' which is actually a thin layer of sonically sentient ether, bubbling up among an abundance of white noise.

As it turns out, Doherty isn’t one to wallow with her bourbon, so to speak. She stands up for women and queerfolk, voicing her opinions on social media and having always been motivated to change civil politics. She was part of her college’s student government, after running on a campaign of transparency, accountability, and accessibility, and many other great ideas detailed in her manifesto. Currently, she’s focused on Repealing the Eighth (an amendment in the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland that declares the start of life at conception, making abortion illegal); she plans to release a collaborative spoken word record about this issue as well.

As far as more music, who knows. Doherty will do what she needs to, when she feels she needs to do it. She is in more control than any of us, though perhaps that’s just my projected depression peeking through the blinds as I listen to her album.