Anna Wise has been featured on some of the biggest tracks of the past decade, but her name is one many may not recognize.
The Grammy-Award winning singer-songwriter has garnered most of her success as one-half of the indie-electronic dance duo, Sonnymoon, but if that doesn't ring a bell, you may recognize her voice from various Kendrick Lamar tracks, the most recent of which, being "Pride", off of his revolutionary new album, DAMN.
Multiple features aside, Anna's solo career began just about one year ago, and provides a much brighter take on dance music than was delivered via Sonnymoon.
Her markedly insightful lyricism is still prominent throughout her solo work, yet the emphasis has shifted heavily towards female empowerment and sentimentality. Mix this with some sexy instrumentation, and Anna is wielding a devastatingly potent combination.
Wise has been administering doses of this concoction while supporting the alt-pop duo, Lewis Del Mar, for the last month or so. And while I feel her produced work is currently stronger than her live performance, I believe that, with some time and refinement, Anna Wise may potentially join the likes of Sylvan Esso and others as a leading name in female-powered indie-pop.
While most performers have a delicately assembled wardrobe, down to the tweezer-arranged patches and stitching on their "vintage" denim jackets, Wise breached the stage donning a haphazardly loose fitting prom dress and a pair of sneakers.
While I appreciate an individual's right to wear whatever the hell they please, especially a musician's, this aesthetic, or lack thereof, was representative of the entire performance. Unique but lacking some necessary refinement.
The singer had a wonderful stage presence and her ability to interact with the crowd appeared natural. There was very little forced clapping or jumping, but when there was, a majority of the crowd seemed glad to bounce along.
Some of the more immature, melodramatic moments of the performance were balanced out by Wise's incredible depth. With the use of a looping station, she would stack her own vocals on top of one another, creating dynamic and widely unique soundscapes of dissonant and haunting chords.
Sometimes these vocal loops would get a bit out of control, turning into a wall of indistinguishable wails rather than distinct melodies. Sometimes less is more, especially in looping, where every note and noise counts.
This was demonstrated incredibly well during her performance of "Go", where she began the five minute dance track with an equally long build up, precisely constructing the minimalistic yet groovy beat. The performance climaxed into a dance party, with Wise running off stage to join in.
All in all, Wise is an impressive vocalist who wields her instrument with authority. As she becomes a more practiced solo artist, learning how to command a live performance on her own, she will surely pave a new way in alternative-dance that many will follow.
In the meantime, keep an eye out for Anna the Wise and see for yourself.
About Ben Goldfarb
Associate Editor Ben Goldfarb covers the nightlife, entertainment, and community scenes, writing articles, reviews, and contributing photography.