Initially spending her professional career as a Berlin and Bristol, UK-based political journalist, Anika Henderson, best known under the mononym that she writes, records and performs under, Anika can trace the origins of her musical career to when she was introduced to Portishead’s Geoff Barrow while she was in Bristol. And as the story goes, Borrow was looking for a vocalist, who would work with his band Beak> for what would be a side project — and when Barrow and Henderson met, they immediately bonded over a mutual love of punk, dub and 60s girl groups. Within a week, Barrow, Henderson and the members of Beak> went into the studio to record the material which would eventually comprise Henderson’s 2010 self-titled full-length debut with Henderson and the members of Beak> recording live in the same room without overdubs.
Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past three years or so in particular, you’d know that 2013 saw the release of Henderson’s self-titled EP, a collection of covers and remixes that included Henderson’s cover of Chromatics’ “In the City,” a cover, which paired Henderson’s icy deliver with a murky and tense, Portishead and The Velvet Underground and Nico-inspired production. A few years have passed since we have heard from her, but earlier this year, Geoff Barrow’s Invada Records, released an icy, lo-tech, analog synth, electro pop and dub-leaning cover of Nena’s “99 Red Balloons” by the mysterious Invada All Stars featuring Anika on vocals as part of that weekend’s Stop Trident National anti-nukes demonstration in London, a demonstration protesting the renewal of Britain’s nuclear weapons system.
Henderson’s latest musical project, Exploded View is something of a side project from her critically applauded solo work and in fact, the first single from the project’s soon-to-be released full-length debut, “No More Parties in the Attic,” revealed that the members of the project drew heavily from post-krautrock, krautrock, dub and industrial music as the band pairs electronic bloops and bleeps, industrial clang and clatter, buzzing and angular synth and guitar chords with Anika’s signature delivery to craft a sound that’s sleek and darkly seductive, while subtly evoking the sensation of desperately navigating a world that has gone madder than ever. The album’s latest single “Lost Illusions” has the band pairing jazz-like hi-hat-led syncopation with guitar and bass chords fed through layers upon layers of reverb with Henderson’s half reciting and half singing vocals with her icy delivery in a song that feels improvised, unguarded and vulnerable as it captures a narrator looking into void with an unsettling and unvarnished honesty.
If you reside in Europe or you happen to be lucky enough to be in Europe over the next couple of weeks, you might want to catch Exploded View live. Check out tour dates below.