The release of ANOHNI's critically acclaimed 2016 LP HOPELESSNESS was, musically, a drastic departure from her previous work, but was also a beautiful, politically charged album pulsing outwardly with melancholy. Her latest PARADISE EP is every bit as powerful in its narrative, forceful in its execution, a pointed disruption of the stagnancy rife in popular music with its thunderous collision of political content and electronic composition.
The sheer force of the music, coupled with the weight of the EP's profoundly politicized lyrics, propels it well beyond that of a simple protest album. Enlisting the help once again of Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never on title track "Paradise," the shifting soundscape retreats into shadowy percussive punctuations just as quickly as it billows into blaring foghorn bleats, as it follows the track's dystopian narrative.
Where HOPELESSNESS dealt with despair, PARADISE revels in rage. On "Jesus Will Kill You," ANOHNI almost calmly croons as she curses Christian corporates, singing "Your wealth is predicated upon the poverty of others, others must be poor if you're to be rich / You're a mean old man, what's your legacy?" The track itself follows a cinematic arc, playing off triumphant blasts of deep brass that wind through fluctuating percussive rifts.
On the softer side of the EP is "You Are My Enemy," on which ANOHNI struggles with herself, oscillating between despair and rage as the track culminates in a beautiful, harmonious climax. Like her LP, ANOHNI's PARADISE is a poignant, smouldering reflection of society's current, crucial conversations. (Secretly Canadian)