From: CTN Music [url]
Date: December 15, 2008

Terami Hirsch: A Broke Machine

Like handmade creations, Terami Hirsch’s music is constructed with a tempting blend of tender interest and obsessive fixation. Without the advantage of working in a visual medium, this Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter uses her home studio and lo-fi electronics as her art board—forming deeply personal, highly textured alternative albums.

Terami Hirsch’s fourth studio album, A Broke Machine, is an incredible statement of unfaltering dedication to her music and her most provocative album to date. Released 3 years after her previous offering, Entropy 29 and self-produced, the album is intricately mixed by Tommy Walter (Abandoned Pools, The Eels, Glacier Hiking).

A Broke Machine revolves around issues of the heart and explores new avenues and genres while still remaining very decisively “Terami”. The songs are detailed and passionate, and written within her self-enforced guideline: “to enjoy the process”.


The opening song “Back to the Start” begins with a melody and drums that set up the feel of the album, but it’s the very first line that Terami sings that hints at a promise of what lies in wait in the album vocally. Yes, any person who has heard her previously, fan or otherwise, will immediately recognize a change in her voice. One can hear a new confidence in her range, a better control of the endearing edge we remember from songs like Little Light and Stained. Terami credits this to professional voice lessons.

A Broke Machine features some of the most energetic and aggressive songs Terami has ever written in the form of “Help Me”, “What I Didn’t See”, “Battle for Infinite Time” and “Wasteland”. These songs drip with an energy and aura that immediately sets them apart from her previous work, and at the same time from other artists to whom she is often compared. Her voice tops off the powerful melodies and mesmerizing percussions beautifully. The album also holds songs like “Fable Moon”, “Diagram of Love”, the title song and “A Hundred Flowers” which move to a slower beat, while still maintaining the quirkiness of Terami’s arrangements of keyboards and drums. “Fable Moon” in particular becomes a highlight of the album by virtue of the mellifluous melody, jazz like bass and soaring vocals. This song is possibly the farthest from anything Terami has done so far, and yet it fits in perfectly with this new vision that is the album. Immediately following is “Chains of Andromeda”, closer to the more eccentric side of Terami. It’s clear to see that A Broke Machine is a genre-bending package of songs from Terami that serve to remove any sense of comparison and similarities to other piano-playing songstresses, giving us something that carves out a piece of musical heaven that is all her own.

Either way, you will not be the same after listening to this unique album.