Thursday, April 10, 2014
Off the back of a sold-out album launch, Perth’s Anna O hit YaYa’s with no loss of momentum. The brainchild of singer songwriter Anna O’Neil, this act put out a sound that is almost impossible to find elsewhere in the city of Perth.
The slightly melancholic, down-tempo jams were given immense energy by the powerful pipes of the lead singer and were backed by perfect instrumentation from the multi-talented band who worked off each other fluidly and with dispositions that could make a polar bear jealous. As a counterpoint to these more thoughtful movements, tracks with heavy, syncopated drums gave ample headroom for Anna’s voice to explore the register as she ebbed from strong mid-range vocal lines to soaring and crisp top end explosions of beauty.
Throughout the performance, the sound maintained a lush thickness through subtle use of effects and some creative solos from the lead guitarist, his fingers moving fast over the fretboard while the bassist laid down some utterly funky business. Anna O are definitely reminiscent of some of the best parts of the world musical history as bright, ’80s synths washed over the room. In an expression of versatility, there was a definite undertone of ’90s trip hop as heavy bass combined with Anna’s soulful vocal style, reminiscent of Portishead.
As if any more boxes could be ticked, a funky disco number actually shook the crowd out of their Thursday night reverie and got feet meeting the floor in new and exciting ways. It was probably naïve of me to believe that this sort of unique music didn’t exist in a town currently fixated on bands with that Indie sound, but the surprise was incredibly pleasant. There’s nothing more that could be said that isn’t said better by the music itself. For a glimpse into the variety of talent lying in wait for your ears this city, look no further than Anna O.