Occasionally, the press notes that accompany an album, aside from the usual praise for whichever artist is being 'sold', will employ a turn of phrase that absolutely nails the crux of why an album works.

This is usually in part down to the artist supplying more or less detailed explanations of the thinking behind their work, and in part to the perceptiveness and writing skill of the PR, who are often very good writers indeed. Vessel's press notes describe Queen of Golden Dogs as 'saturated with colour; oscillating between grief, bombast and fierce joy... music shot through with both sincerity and irreverence.' That paragraph, and the incredible album artwork, pretty much do my job for me. All that is left is to try to describe something of the detail of the record.

We’re told that each track on Queen of Golden Dogs is named for a person who has altered the course of Vessel's life in some way. 'Torno-me else e nau-eu (Remedios)' is a beatless, modern classical vocal composition, with Olivia Chaney's extraordinary vocal cords bringing life to the artist's love of the art of Remedios Varo. ‘Zahir (For Eleanor)’ pitches her voice down to troll-like depths, distorting tempo and tuning. We’re never quite sure whether she is breathing in or out; or if a melodic line is coming or going.

On the other side of the classical / experimental coin we have 'Fantasma (For Jasmine)'; its opening, a strangling wire cross-thatch of strings, giving way to pounding synth 'n' bass. The record is full of such non-sequiturs. Tracks often don’t bleed into eachother, rather they struggle for space and definition, spilling over and crashing their neighbours’ slots. The cleanest break may be into the full-on chamber composition ‘Arcanum (For Christalla), mixing harpsichord and glassy MIDI keys. Even this is preceded by a ghostly mirror image of itself woven into the close of the previous track.

Quite what impact Maggie ('Argo') had on the artist's life is open to much speculation, considering how bat shit crazy her beat is. Did she 'carry' him, in the biological and classical sense? It's an extreme enough reflection of the impact a mother might have on a son. ‘Glory Glory (For Tippi)’ similarly goes full club, with acid house keys redolent of Utah Saints slicing and slipping in and out of the foreground, and only a distant clap providing what might strictly be termed a percussive beat. For an artist who has heavily focused on using rhythm to smash and disorientate the listener, Vessel here shifts the focus a little onto less beat-driven work. Much of the album’s percussion comes out of the synths, like a body stripped of a skeleton.

That said, when it does go beat heavy, it is painfully so. Weirder than the comparatively straightforward Punish, Honey, the addition of a full time vocalist in Chaney gives Vessel the opportunity to dislocate and imaginatively reconstruct the human voice, bringing another weapon to his arsenal of synths, samples, and digital alchemy.

Queen of Golden Dogs is a bold and original statement that collides together emotions, textures and beats to gloriously dissonant effect. It’s also Vessel's best album to date.