Release Date: Mar 4, 2016
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Record label: Moshi Moshi Records
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So, we’ve all been waiting for an experimental yet accessible album of electronic, big band hair metal which at once evokes ’80s computer game sound-effects and the future – right? Right. Even if we didn’t know it. Thankfully, Anna Meredith is on hand to enlighten us with a gallivanting record of those extreme proportions and more. During her career as a contemporary classical composer, thus far she has restlessly worked to broaden horizons and challenge any of the genre’s perceived dourness.
On her debut single "Nautilus," Anna Meredith sounded drunk on power and spoiling for a fight. The 2012 cut was the acclaimed Scottish composer's first mainstream release after nearly two decades in the classical world, where her adventurous work often met with sedentary audiences who were polite at best, and openly contemptuous at worst. The track's imperious brass fanfares, artillery-fire percussion, and earth-quaking bass seemed designed to pummel and intimidate listeners.
by Elena Badillo It’s hard to imagine that an artist with a remarkably brilliant, decade long musical career has just had a full-length debut. But the timing in Anna Meredith’s Varmints is, at most, as unorthodox as its content and as its author. After spending several years as a successful composer-in-residence for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Meredith immersed herself into electronic music, eventually starting to experiment with it, blending it with her classical underpinnings.
It's that time again when writers Juan and Carl go through their previous month's custom playlists in search of a handful of albums that deserve your attention. After being a bit tough with some of last month's notable electronic offerings, it's curious to see that Juan's two highest scores out of his five selections fall under the same rubric (one of them being the glorious return of elder statesmen Underworld). He also went on an emo revival (or let's just call it indie rom-rock) binge from listening to too much Into It.
In hip-hop, the distinction between a ‘beatmaker’ and a producer is key. The former is effectively a hired gun, while the latter is an integral part of the creative process. But there’s just as important of a distinction to be made between a producer and a composer, and it’s one that Anna Meredith highlights on every second of her breathtakingly immersive, textured debut LP, Varmints.
Anna Meredith — Varmints (Moshi Moshi)To hear Anna Meredith tell it, Varmints is an exorcism as much as it is an exploration. “I was trying to look for the things that bugged me in my writing,” she recently explained to Radio 4’s Samira Ahmed. “Ideas that I cannot seem to shake off, they’re my pests.”Plenty of those pests get put through their paces on her first full-length.
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