December 18, 2017 Anavae – Are You Dreaming? (EP Review)
Together since 2011, England’s Anavae has returned to the Rock scene with an EP that is bound to blow listeners away. For those unfamiliar with the duo of Vocalist Rebecca Need-Menear and Guitarist Jamie Finch, Anavae has an edgy vibe while still staying contemporary, crossing the realms of PVRIS, Tegan and Sara, Flyleaf, and Lacuna Coil. The overall tone is an Alternative Rock fused with Pop-like elements that keep their sound unique and catchy.
As mentioned, Rebecca Need-Menear and Jamie Finch have been creating music since 2011 and were previously signed with English Indie label LAB Records. Two EPs and several chart entries later, the band gained a feature on BBC Introducing following their “Feel Alive” self-released song in 2015. Now, with their latest EP, Are You Dreaming?, released on October 27th 2017, they are bound to reach new levels of success.
The five song playlist begins with the latest single “All Or Nothing,” gaining thirty-two thousand music video views within the first month. Ambient noises fill the speakers and are almost immediately intruded by bass blasts. Vocalist Rebecca Need-Menear does not hesitate to showcase her powerhouse vocals. The track provides a wholesome feeling while caught in a dreamlike state caused by the slow tempo, heavy bass, grungy guitar, and cymbal beats.
Are You Dreaming? takes a small change of pace for catchy tune “Forever Dancing.” The upbeat melody is infused with high toned electric guitars. The marching beat keeps steady, pulsing through the listener’s eardrums. Of course, a tracking with the word ‘dancing’ in the title naturally will make the listener feel like dancing. This song radiates the “we’re forever young/going to live forever” motto, feeling invincible and full of life.
Then, “Are We Alone?” is the existential questioning track every twenty-something experiences at some point in his/her life, searching for life and truths. The lullaby begins with wind up chimes. Xylophones keep a bubbly beat in between the hard rock breakdowns as the vocals creep in. “Find me a reason why we’re here,” Need-Menear exasperates out while background vocals echo in the shadows.
Beautifully haunting and chilling, “Stay” is introduced by what sounds like a tame version of the Stranger Things intro, envision something straight out of a Sci-Fi movie. This track particularly shares similarities to Avril Lavigne’s 2004 album Under My Skin, complemented by raging guitars and melancholy keys. “Stay” is absolutely chilling and it is difficult not to hang onto Need-Menear’s last words.
The final, yet longest track, “Lose Your Love” continues the soft chimes. The voice of depression comes to the surface and anyone battling this vicious disease can easily relate. Need-Menear cries out of desperation “you’ll lose your love for me,” which is something one can easily convince themselves when pushing a loved one away. The inner turmoil and battle one struggles is displayed with soft guitar grinds, heavy bass, and whirlwind vocals. Intensity is built until the end where Need-Menear breaks down, stripped to just the words of her crazy mind.
While it appears the lyrics can be vague, that should not underestimate the ability to be relatable. There were a few tracks where chicken skin formed from the combination of musically drifting off to another place and lyrically feeling like Need-Menear is in the listener’s head. Overall, Are You Dreaming? flows exceptionally well and not a single track feels out of place. Anavae has formulated an optimal listening experience for their fans, and their strength is not one to disappoint. For this reason, CrypticRock give Are You Dreaming? 5 out of 5 stars.