Anomie Belle - The Crush
Review by Jack Foley
SEATTLE-based songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and film composer Anomie Belle is rapidly becoming a name to watch.
With her distinct vocals (that sound like a mix between Bjork, Grace Jones and Morcheeba’s Skye depending on her mood), slick beats and intricate musical arrangements, she’s a captivating presence… and one that’s self-consciously difficult to pigeon-hole.
She’s currently riding high off the buzz surrounding her single Machine, which finds her teaming up with hip-hop emcee Mr Lif (The Perceptionists, Thievery Corporation) to deliver a track that has its finger firmly on the pulse of current events (the worth of the individual over corporations).
It’s intoxicating but has a dangerous edge to it, born from the slightly sinister slant that Belle places on her vocals… tailored towards the dark lyricism. Mr Lif, meanwhile, drops a well-timed rap late on, working perfectly in tandem with the slick beats and electronics to deliver his own observations on this hottest of topics.
It is one of the standout moments on the album. But there are many more…
It’s A Crush combines a nice guitar riff with some stop-start beat structures and a somewhat more seductive vocal from Belle that’s as flirtatious as it is, once more, dangerous.
Her more sensitive side is evident in the melancholy, cinematic string arrangements that accompany Mosquito In The Closet (which veer toward the Bonobo-esque), while on Picture Perfect she employs another slick beat over a duet wiith Jon Auer and one of the best, most sultry choruses on the LP.
Another duet, Privilege, finds her uniting with Anna Lynne Williams for a slice of chillout that really wouldn’t sound out of place on a Morcheeba album, while the dark vocal style she employs over Lavender Days feels distinctly Bjork-like and oddly compelling, especially when set against the layered instrumentals.
Final track Phantom, meanwhile, draws things to a close in intimate, quietly mesmerising fashion that showcases Belle at her most haunting and yet beautiful.
Put together, this is a deeply impressive body of work.
Download picks: Mosquito In The Closet, Machine, Picture Perfect, Privilege, Lavender Days, Phantom