Anika's captivating debut revolved around pre-existing material, so it comes as little surprise that her new single follows suit, though "In the City" breaks ranks with the tone of 2010's Anika, even if Geoff Barrow (Portishead, BEAK>) has returned to produce.
Instead of the tense, downright apocalyptic numbers of her first record, like Bob Dylan's "Masters of War" and Skeeter Davis's "End of the World," she lets her hair down this time around for a glam-disco floor-filler that splices and dices Chic with Thin White Duke-era David Bowie, which brings things full circle, since Anika hails from Berlin, a dominant influence on Bowie at the time (she recently relocated from Bristol).
Nonetheless, my first thought was, "Thanks, but no thanks." I didn't hate it; I just didn't love it as much as I would've expected, so I let an entire week go by before listening again (and again). This time, I had the opposite reaction, possibly because I'd re-set my expectations. I'm still not sure that something so upbeat offers the best fit for her downbeat vocals, but I like it, and I'm looking forward to hearing the rest of the six-track EP.
Track List: 1. I Go To Sleep (Kinks) 2. He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss) (Crystals)* 3. Love Buzz (Shocking Blue) 4. In The City (Chromatics) 5. No One's There [dub] (Anika) 6. Yang Yang [dub] (Yoko Ono)
* Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. Also covered by Grizzly Bear.
The original non-LP track with Ruth Radalet. More air, less earth.
Stones Throw releases Anika on Apr 16. She plays London's ATP on May 4.