Written by Maria Arroyo
“Starting with yourself is always a good place. I think we can change.” – Anika
Nico-esque vocalist, Anika, is releasing her first solo album, Change, in 11 years via Sacred Bones. Anika, which is the ongoing project of the Berlin-based musician Annika Henderson, celebrates her first release in over a decade and describes it as a record centered in “heightened frustration buoyed by guarded optimism.”
After recording her initial ideas herself at Berlin’s Klangbild Studios, she was joined by producer, Martin Thulin (Exploded Views).
“This album had been planned for a little while and the circumstances of its inception were quite different to what had been expected,” says Anika. “This colored the album quite significantly. The lyrics were all written there on the spot. It’s a vomit of emotions, anxieties, and empowerment.” Anika also shares that “despite the subject matter and the circumstances around its creation,” that Change is a “treatise on optimism.”
Her opening track, “Finger Pies,” introduces us to her interesting and peculiar sound. The song is definitely far from conventional but maintains its connection with the listeners. Along with this opening track is a music video, which you can catch here.
Bringing a bit more bite to the table is her track, “Critical.” This lyrical story is straightforward and very concisely written and put together. There is a ton of movement within the song, which makes it easy to follow along with.
Showcasing itself as the pinnacle of the album is her title track, “Change.” This track is the most important and I think the most essential to bringing the album to life. The movement that’s created within the instrumentation and the sudden cry in her lyrics and vocal performance puts this song at the top of the track and really drives the meaning of this album home.
Catch the music video for “Change” below.
We start to feel a shift in the sound of this album with her next track, “Naysayer.” She brings to light a darker and more intense sound, which becomes present in the rest of the trucks going forward. “Sand Witches” has hypnotic energy to it that keeps you engaged from beginning to end with its strange and futuristic sound.
“Rights” has a similar aesthetic to the song prior but still manages to keep its individuality. There is tons of depth and color in this song, and the buildup of intensity with each section only becomes more and more explosive as it continues. This song speaks to her raw and unapologetically truthful approach to lyrical writing, which only furthers her connection to her listeners.
The closing track, “Wait For Something,” is a complete 360 from what we’ve been hearing, and came as a huge shock to me. This sound was more acoustic and stripped right down to the bare minimum, and she still manages to blow it out of the water. Her fluidity in her vocal deliverance helps to showcase her talent as a vocalist and all-around musician.
Change is far more different than what I’m used to listening to, but it did give me a new perspective and appreciation for those who go off the path and do something spectacular. Be sure to check it out on all streaming platforms!
Connect with Anika