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Anika|Change

Change

Anika

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On Change, Anika delivers a call to action that she takes to heart. Though her first solo album in over a decade is indebted to the spooky, surreal sounds of her early solo releases and her work with Exploded View, it also sheds a decidedly different light on her music. Since much of her 2010 debut album and 2013 EP consisted of frosty covers of '60s pop songs that ranged from ironic to heartbroken, listeners actually got to know more of Anika as a songwriter on Exploded View's albums, where she expounded on timely and timeless subjects in elliptical but gripping fashion. Even though she recorded Change with her bandmate Martin Thulin, it's apparent that this is a solo album: Its songs are leaner and more flexible than her work with Exploded View and focus more on melody without forsaking inventive sounds, as proven by the eerie dynamic shifts of "Critical" and the chittering electronic fever dream of "Freedom." However, the biggest difference on Change is that instead of being an aloof observer, Anika is an active participant. It's a role that suits her well. Her roots as a political journalist have never been clearer than on "Never Coming Back," a driving meditation inspired by Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. Previously, Anika touched on environmental issues with Exploded View's dreamily ironic "Summer Came Early," but this time she hits home the seeming inevitability of extinction with chilling insistence. Similarly, when she disowns her homeland of England on "Sand Witches" with a withering "you're lost to me now," it's with the kind of contempt that only comes from familiarity. While the Arctic cool of her alto is perfectly suited to songs like this, Change uncovers other equally expressive nuances to Anika's voice. She raises it a few decibels on "Naysayer," tapping into a primal anger that's as refreshing as it is unexpected. Almost as surprising is the sweetly galvanizing optimism of the title track, where her newfound tenderness and subtly shifting delivery reflect the almost imperceptible ways in which progress is made. Here and on several of the album's other finest moments, Anika makes brilliant use of repetition to cast her spells and ratchet up the tension before setting listeners free with "Wait for Something," a beautiful abstraction of idealistic '60s folk that feels like the musical equivalent of the clouds parting. Change's artful, heartfelt expressions of frustration and hope aren't just perfect for the transformative time in which they appeared, they're also an exciting and satisfying reintroduction to Anika the solo artist.
© Heather Phares /TiVo

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Anika

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1
Finger Pies
00:03:54

Anika, MainArtist - Annika Henderson, Composer

2021 Invada Records UK 2021 Invada Records UK

2
Critical
00:04:23

Anika, MainArtist - Annika Henderson, Composer

2021 Invada Records UK 2021 Invada Records UK

3
Change
00:04:31

Anika, MainArtist - Annika Henderson, Composer

2021 Invada Records UK 2021 Invada Records UK

4
Naysayer
00:03:55

Anika, MainArtist - Annika Henderson, Composer

2021 Invada Records UK 2021 Invada Records UK

5
Sand Witches
00:04:33

Anika, MainArtist - Annika Henderson, Composer

2021 Invada Records UK 2021 Invada Records UK

6
Never Coming Back
00:03:58

Anika, MainArtist - Annika Henderson, Composer

2021 Invada Records UK 2021 Invada Records UK

7
Rights
00:04:13

Anika, MainArtist - Annika Henderson, Composer

2021 Invada Records UK 2021 Invada Records UK

8
Freedom
00:03:04

Anika, MainArtist - Annika Henderson, Composer

2021 Invada Records UK 2021 Invada Records UK

9
Wait For Something
00:03:56

Anika, MainArtist - Annika Henderson, Composer

2021 Invada Records UK 2021 Invada Records UK

Album Description

On Change, Anika delivers a call to action that she takes to heart. Though her first solo album in over a decade is indebted to the spooky, surreal sounds of her early solo releases and her work with Exploded View, it also sheds a decidedly different light on her music. Since much of her 2010 debut album and 2013 EP consisted of frosty covers of '60s pop songs that ranged from ironic to heartbroken, listeners actually got to know more of Anika as a songwriter on Exploded View's albums, where she expounded on timely and timeless subjects in elliptical but gripping fashion. Even though she recorded Change with her bandmate Martin Thulin, it's apparent that this is a solo album: Its songs are leaner and more flexible than her work with Exploded View and focus more on melody without forsaking inventive sounds, as proven by the eerie dynamic shifts of "Critical" and the chittering electronic fever dream of "Freedom." However, the biggest difference on Change is that instead of being an aloof observer, Anika is an active participant. It's a role that suits her well. Her roots as a political journalist have never been clearer than on "Never Coming Back," a driving meditation inspired by Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. Previously, Anika touched on environmental issues with Exploded View's dreamily ironic "Summer Came Early," but this time she hits home the seeming inevitability of extinction with chilling insistence. Similarly, when she disowns her homeland of England on "Sand Witches" with a withering "you're lost to me now," it's with the kind of contempt that only comes from familiarity. While the Arctic cool of her alto is perfectly suited to songs like this, Change uncovers other equally expressive nuances to Anika's voice. She raises it a few decibels on "Naysayer," tapping into a primal anger that's as refreshing as it is unexpected. Almost as surprising is the sweetly galvanizing optimism of the title track, where her newfound tenderness and subtly shifting delivery reflect the almost imperceptible ways in which progress is made. Here and on several of the album's other finest moments, Anika makes brilliant use of repetition to cast her spells and ratchet up the tension before setting listeners free with "Wait for Something," a beautiful abstraction of idealistic '60s folk that feels like the musical equivalent of the clouds parting. Change's artful, heartfelt expressions of frustration and hope aren't just perfect for the transformative time in which they appeared, they're also an exciting and satisfying reintroduction to Anika the solo artist.
© Heather Phares /TiVo

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