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Album Review

A collision of post-punk, dub, and girl group pop, Anika is defined by its namesake’s voice. Anika's stiff Teutonic alto evokes not just the ultimate German ice princess Nico, but the brazen haughtiness of punks like Malaria! and Mania D. Backed by Portishead's Geoff Barrow and the rest of BEAK> — whom she met while working as a music promoter — she uses the near-robotic aloofness of her voice to brilliant effect on wisely chosen covers and a handful of originals. BEAK>'s inspired minimalism is the perfect foil for her deadpan cool, and in many ways Anika feels like a more focused, feminine second album from the band. Like BEAK>'s debut, this album was recorded in just a dozen days; Barrow's production sounds like Joe Meek dabbling in dub, and Billy Fuller's inventive basslines nearly steal the spotlight from Anika more than once. Yet Anika is far more subversive than BEAK> could be on their own. Many of the album’s best moments happen when Anika lends her avant-garde chill to ‘60s girl group singles: in her hands, Twinkle's morbid biker love song “Terry” is sleek, sardonic, and a little bit eerie; atonal edges and angles trade innocence for nihilism on Skeeter Davis' "End of the World"; and Anika is at her most Nico-esque on a stark revamp of Greta Ann's "Sadness Hides the Sun.” Conversely, Yoko Ono's “Yang Yang” is transformed into a fantastic anti-pop single, with klaxon-like synths providing the hook and a bassline so strutting it could have been stolen from a blaxploitation soundtrack. Though the album is mostly covers, Anika imprints her identity on every track. The dubby version of Bob Dylan's “Masters of War” and its reprise reflect her background as a political journalist as much as her original song “No One’s There” does. Anika is a bold, often fearless debut, and even if it’s occasionally an acquired taste, it doesn’t hedge its bets.

Customer Reviews

Anika is OK

A great album with a curious mix of pulsating electronic dubs, punk beats, and hauntingly deadpan vocals. The cover of Sia's, "I Go To Sleep," is glorious. This album is highly recommended.


I Think this Album is Awesome. I heard it when i Was Really Drunk and fell in love with it. If You Enjoy Listening to Nico I recommend This.


Great album. Reminds me of Nico.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active:

Before she began her singing career, Anika was a political journalist who spent her time between Berlin and Bristol, England. She happened to meet producer Geoff Barrow, who was looking for a female vocalist to work with his band Beak>, and the pair discovered they had lots of musical common ground: punk, dub, and '60s girl groups. Anika joined the band in the studio and they recorded nine songs, including a cover of Yoko Ono's "Yang Yang," in 12 days with no overdubs. The result, First Lady of Invada,...
Full Bio
Anika, Anika
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Customer Ratings