An uncomplicated, fresh, beat-driven pop gem.
Anushka, producer Max Wheeler and singer/songwriter Victoria Port, dropped their début album – Broken Circuit earlier this month on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings. The music is an uncomplicated, but brilliantly contrasting blend of layered harmonies and candied soul vocals pinned together with an underground-pleasing beat selection.
Broken Circuit opens with Impatient, a soulful lounger with a vocal from Victoria which reminds me a lot of The Noisettes’ Shingai Shoniwa. It’s a nice way to start the album, with some cool keys which sets a tone held throughout the LP.
The pace is upped slightly with the second track and single Never Can Decide, a track which takes Port’s frustrated tale of a relationship in turmoil, and turns it into an exhilarating disco-house floor filler.
There’s a vulnerability to Port’s writing which runs right the through album, non more so in the lyrics of Echo. The vocal on this track, one of the release’s highlights, is one of regret and insecurity. Wheeler’s production however, manages to achieve what many great pop records do, and that is to get your feet moving to the lyricist’s woes.
The album continues in a similar vein, the beats develop and get more interesting, from the drum and bass feel to Atoms Bombs, to the erratic glitchy-ness perfection of Kisses, which is for me the stand out track. It highlights perfectly what Anushka are about – a contrast of sweet, soulful vocals underpinned by a slightly darker, sub loving bass and beats.
Just as Broken Circuit begins to wind down we’re hit with Mansions, also one of the singles from the LP. It’s an absolute banger. Plain and simple, fantastic.
There’s so much on offer on Broken Circuit. It’s an album which works really well as a whole, it feels like a complete entity, as a good album should. Anushka have stepped up and produced an LP which instantly puts them on a par with the new wave of British electro pop artists like, SBTRKT, Disclosure, Rudimental and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. New Wave Brit-Electro-Pop, now there’s a genre and a half.
Header image taken from here
Hear some of Anushka’s music here