Jennifer Touch released her first album ‘Behind The Wall’ in 2020 as an autobiographical document of growing up in the DDR.

Having first released music in 2014, this Berlin-based daughter of flower-power children now issues her second full-length record ‘Midnight Proposals’, inspired by the John Steinbeck book ‘Grapes of Wrath’. The story of the migrant farmworkers during The Great Depression reminded Touch of her great grandparents’ own life and her own yearning for somewhere safe to settle. ‘Midnight Proposals’ is the mysterious yet hopeful manifesto that Jennifer Touch wants to present to the world.

Opening song ‘Summerchild’ has a stark intent, enigmatic while unsettling as a song born of frustration containing a narrative of powerlessness while seeking self-freedom. Inspired by Touch’s own childhood as were most of the tracks on Behind The Wall’, this acts as a bridge to ‘Midnight Proposals’ as it discards the shackles of adolescence.

The lo-fi avant-pop of ‘Rumor’ is accessible yet tinged with anguish and vulnerability. Buoyed by a new love, it is hazy happiness packed into a pop song although with the obligatory portion of darkness. ‘A Day’ utilises an expected jazz drum loop but with a randomised bleep n squelch collage, it is more abstract with a detached monologue about “unsaved legs, untouched lips” and “naked tits” while Duane Eddy inflections spring a surprise in the final section.

The sombre drone-laden ‘Prayer’ expresses different personalities within the same psyche, using a deep pitch shifts as another instrument, but the excellent ‘Sacred Type’ is like a synthpop Siouxsie while displaying a musical affinity with Berlin-based artist Zoe Zanias.

In a barrage of uneasy percussive noise, the deadpan ‘Gudrun’ pays tribute to Touch’s grandmother who was forced to abandon many of her own dreams while as the title suggests, ‘Twisted’ has this dissonance about it as elements fight against each other in disharmony and dislocation.

Recalling another Berlin-based act NNHMN, ‘Soft & Dark’ is another track that reflects its title with some icy pulsating Gothic disco manifestations. However the DIY austere of ‘Shot Shot’ is more obscure while ‘Already There’ offers an ambient guitar exercise with spoken word. With even more guitar, ‘Art’ echoes JOY DIVISION’s ‘Incubation’ but with vocals while with an ominous electronic squelch, ‘Sold Out’ is haunting, again recalling Zoe Zanias.

A counterpoint to the joy of the song ‘Rumors’, the closing number ‘Strings’ takes on the more melodic instincts of THE CURE and NIRVANA despite doomy bass inflections and although the Numan-esque synths are dreamlike, are they actually part of a nightmare?

Self-described as a “Post-Wave-Cold-Pop-Acid-Romance”, ‘Midnight Proposals’ packs a lot in although it perhaps tails off during the final third after a feisty engaging run off the starting blocks. However, it is a worthy accessible successor to ‘Behind The Wall’ and further establishes Jennifer Touch as an independently-minded artistic talent.

‘Midnight Proposals’ is released by FATCAT RECORDINGS in CD, red vinyl LP and digital formats, available from

Jennifer Touch plays The Waiting Room in London’s Stoke Newington on Wednesday 8th March 2023

Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photo by Vinnie Liazza
16th February 2023