Really then, as the band's refined its sound over the last few years, it's Bougatsos herself who's asked to give these songs, well, songcraft. She's always featured more as playground reveler amidst the band's vast experiments with beat and atmosphere than lead singer, often a voice short of words that accidentally falls in tune to their clamor and lends it disorientation. On Saint Dymphna's most impressive moments though, and those that are as commercially handy as the band's ever been, she's often asked to provide the band's chaos with rare clarity, equal parts early Madonna, Siouxsie Sioux, Cyndi Lauper and Kate Bush.
"Desert Storms" finds her Yoko-lizing over sinewy guitar lines, gas-rainbow synths and pogoing rhythms, while on the unfussy "First Communion" she blurts impressionistic lines about sea salt hips against one of the band's tighter guitar-drum arrangements. For "Blue Nile" she's just a distant noise again, briefly, in a techno thump of Middle Eastern textures. But it's on lead single and album standout "House Jam" where Bougatsos really shows her allure. Her damaged wail is suddenly clean, pitched to melody over disturbance or distortion. She's urgent to make new needs clear, pulling the song's simple drums, rave synths and layered background vocals taut into the alt-universe pop gem the band had been moving toward.
For an album so seamless that it repeats God's Money's knack for highlighting passages over individual tracks—some featuring three or four semi-connected patterns just as important for their few minutes or seconds as the "song" they fall within—while still letting us see the internal logic behind each ending as it does, the grime detour with East London MC Tinchy Stryder "Princes" seems from the surface like an awkward gaffe. But Tinchy's kinetic flow begins to make more sense as Saint Dymphna settles in over weeks, yet another odd transition that pairs urban motifs with unurban rackets, both allowed to bang away in the city. It's Gang Gang Dance after all. Dump it in, and they'll keep stirrin'.