Soft soulful serenade
Anna Wise is an American R&B-soul artist that’s been on the scene since 2009 and was a member of bands Sonnymoon and Built to Fade. She came onto the radar thanks to American rapper Kendrick Lamar who discovered Wise through another musical friend. Lamar and Wise have collaborated on about 11 tracks and since 2016, Wise has released two EPs and now has released her first solo full-length album titled As If It Were Forever.
The album opens with a soft-sounding ballad called “Worm’s Playground,” which has a bit of a futuristic vocal overlay in the chorus and clear, strong vocals.“Blue Rose” continues with that soft sound, however, it has less of a focus on lyrics and more of an emphasis on vocal sounds and instrumentation. The songs “The Moment (Interlude)” and “One of these Changes us You,” which appear later on the album, are similar to “Blue Rose” in that they lean more instrumental and make more use of vocal ad-libbing versus actual words.
“Abracadabra (feat. Little Simz)” is the first song on the project with an acoustic guitar sound and a focus on her voice and the vulnerability of the lyrics, like “How could you change so suddenly/ how could you desire me then have no desire left for me?” The featured artist Little Simz also has a soft rap on the track that really brings to light the pain and emotion in the song that’s emphasized by Wise’s haunting vocals. Listeners get the best taste of Wise’s vocal range on track “Nerve” that has more of an upbeat jazzy vibe with a fun drum beat in the background and sounds a bit unique from the rest of the album.
On the track “Count My Blessings (feat. Denzel Curry),” Wise takes a bit of a back seat and is working the backing vocals as Denzel Curry’s rap becomes the focal point of the song. The song “What’s up with You?” has a similar feel to Hip-Hop artist SZA with its incredibly honest and ruthless lyrics like “Don’t be that man who makes a mockery of love/ swiped left, swipe right, he pound it or can’t get it up” but with more of a soft pop twist.
Anna Wise’s sound is heavy on the instrumentation and vocal ad-libs but still manages to convey plenty of emotion. Her soft, pretty vocals make for creating a nice, dreamy atmosphere, fitting of a quiet cafe or a stylish romantic restaurant. As If It Were Forever gives listeners a good indication of the soulful style she encompasses. Her incredible vocal capability and songwriting style will get her far in this ever-evolving industry.