ALBUM REVIEW: ANIIML – OH AWE

It’s not often that an album described as ‘liberal, primal witch pop’ lands in our inbox, so when it does we’re all ears.

Oh Awe is the the latest release from songwriter, producer and activist ANIIML which jumps headfirst into the outer-reaches of human emotions and pieces together what it means to be simultaneously headstrong and vulnerable.

Dark, stormy undercurrents boldly introduce the album in the opening track It’s Over where Aniiml’s light-as-a-feather vocals breakthrough like the sun peering through the clouds. The cinematic soundscapes, coupled with the dramatic marching percussion, parcels together a philosophy of creation being born through destruction.

As Aniiml has firmly established her themes within the opening track, there is now more room to have fun as minimalist, bass-led tracks follow, complete with playful club beats and captivating harmonies. Aniiml achieves all this while staying true to form by expressing femininity in it’s strongest and rawest form, which Slay and Handle Me perfectly captures. Ouch places the velvety, black magic firmly in to the ‘witch pop’ label as the full force of Aniiml’s ethereal vocals are let loose as the layers soar high above the piano line before flowing into the urgent energy of Where We Go.

We soon find ourselves being promptly transported into the other-worldly landscapes that is the inner workings of Aniiml’s mind as simmering tension picks up the pace in Out! Of! Control! which presents an authentic expression of the inner strength which can only be found in our darkest moments.

If Oh Awe teaches us anything about ourselves, it’s that there is strength to be found in expressing our vulnerabilities, as expressed in the tender duet with Robots & Balloons on Before It Gets Better and the fierce battle cry that is Face to the Pavement. “I’m stronger now” are Aniiml’s parting words to us and it’s this headstrong determination that sticks with us in our minds alongside the haunting melodies which weaves themselves throughout Oh Awe.

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