Vocalist Anika spent her professional career as a political journalist living between Berlin and Bristol, UK when she had met producer Geoff Barrow. At the time, Barrow was seeking a vocalist to work with his band Beak> for a side project, and when Barrow first met Anika, they both recognized a shared love of punk, dub music, and 60s girl groups. About a week later, Barrow and Anika and the members of Beak> went into the studio to record, and twelve days later, the result was Anika’s full-length debut, recorded with no overdubs — and completely live with the entire band in the same room.
Some time later, Anika and the members members of Beak> went back to the studio to work on a small collection of covers for a her self-titled EP which Stones Throw Records recently released. The album includes this cover of the Chromatics’ “In the City“ and her cover manages to be mysterious, murky, anxious, unsettling and trashy yet seductive – all while possessing a shimmering, delicate bit of funkiness. Interestingly, Anika, Barrow and Beak> manage to turn the Chromatics song into their own song – in some way, I can’t imagine any other version but their own. And that’s a unique quality.
Sonically, it bears some similarity to Geoff Barrow’s famed musical project Portishead but with some differences both subtle and obvious. But at the end of the day, Anika’s sound is just funkier and scuzzier.
The official video which was directed by Kyle Whittingon and Joe Broady is set in an anonymous European city, and is not quite what I personally expected – it’s more surreal than creepy but hey, I’m not a film guy.