Exploded View

My name is Anika. I live on the second floor of your mind, inhabiting your consciousness. Squatting in your memory. Better not tell anyone about that bit, it could get you into a lot of trouble.

Anika, otherwise known as Annika Henderson from Bristol's Invada Records, has put together Exploded View on Sacred Bones, and this is their new self-titled debut. There's an immediate sense of layering, an attempt at creating a real ethereal and spiritual level amongst the more traditional elements, and for the most it works. First single 'Orlando' is a prime example of this, with the thudding bass drum entangling itself with Anika's dreamy, opaque vocals.

The record was recorded direct to tape in San Rafael, Mexico City, and every sound was captured, and this gives some validity to the name Exploded View. You can imagine the tracks being deconstructed and all sorts of sounds being unravelled in the resulting diagram. And it's all first takes, sounding raw at times, like in the driving 'Disco Glove', or the sub-groove of 'No More Parties In The Attic'. There's also a deliberate sense of incoherence; it feels less about creating an album in the traditional sense and more “we're going to play what the hell we want to play”, which is pretty great.

'Lark Ascending' is the best cut, a short but haunting track that is dominated by Henderson's slick vocals, their echo combining with the laconic guitar before everything falls away leaving words and a feedback drone. The track that follows, 'Gimme Something', is similarly laid back, an effortless evening jam that turns into something much more intense, a sinister edge running through the guitars and vocals. It's not 100% a success; I could take or leave tracks like 'Beige' and there are times when you just want them to stop fucking around and get on with it, but you get the feeling that's what they're going for. And who are we to stop that?

Overall

A jam session transcended with evocative vocals that'll stick around for a while.

8

out of 10

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