The anatomical structure and composition of a song—where and when and how rhythmic arrangements go—is as essential to an artist’s identity as, say, catchy melodies, or brilliant lyricism. For Long Island-based duo Anna Altman (no Annas and no Altmans here), a congregation of unchanging guitar parts and steadfast drumming lay an incredibly strong canvas upon which inquisitive vocals and sparse guitar leads paint a work of mildly minimalistic yet boldly vulnerable modern art. Their song, “The Interview,” off their forthcoming debut LP, The Freightliner (out April 28 via Exploding In Sound’s new EIS Tape Club), is a beautifully monotonous set of instrumental patterns that serve to bolster the ponderous voice of singer Lucia Arias in a way that is more powerful in its subtlety than its force.
It’s for the attentive art audience. Like an Agnes Martin work, the colors blend between Arias’ two-toned picking alternations, almost too perfect to be real. Christian Billard’s easy-riding mechanic percussion harmonizes with the mixture all too seamlessly, a calm and cool and invariable voice of its own. It’s a gorgeous balance, meant to be sat with for a moment, meant to flow over, across and through you. There is a comfort in its constancy, a safety. The drone gives way to just the slightest of variations, breaking off just as you think it might stay this way forever, and Arias’ serene lulling providing both buoyancy and grounding. Like the optical illusion of an object reeling in one direction so quickly, it blurs and then appears to be moving in the opposite, the song asks you to discern for yourself. It asks your patience. Give it. You won’t regret it.
If you’re in the Northeast, check out Anna Altman:
11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Muchmore’s w/ Soccer Mommy & Francie Cool
12 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Pharmacy w/ Early Riser, Anika Pyle & Special Guest
21 – Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn w/ J&L Defer & Jackal Onasis
16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn w/ Dump Him, Fern Mayo & Snakeskin