Andrea Balency is one of those people who will make you geographically jealous - part Mexican and part-French, she's lived in Buenos Aires, New York, London, and Paris. A citizen of the world, if you will, that makes city-dwelling people want to quit their jobs and visit some far-flung country for three months.
Despite only being 22 years of age, she's also brilliant at making music and has already supported James Blake, Mount Kimbie, Au Revoir Simone and the Cure. A few seconds into her debut and it’s clear why. Her jazz tinged, minimal electro-pop contains huge slabs of soul.
The lead track from the EP, You’ve Never Been Alone is produced by Airhead (James Blake longtime collaborator and bandmate) and has that sumptuous sound, everything fizzes and tremors, energy washes around the production, her siren vocals scorning a lover. The sort of track that pulls you in at first listen but reveals murkier undertones as you jam the repeat button. We like it a lot. We're so infatuated that we're premiering the video for "You've Never Been Alone".
Oh - and the video is totally NSFW because it features naked people!
Andrea Balency is in a staring contest showdown with the camera while a couple has sex in the bed behind her. It’s a bold way to start a debut music video, but the French born songstress who currently calls Mexico her home is just building momentum. From that point on, “You’ve Never Been Alone” chronicles the actions of an elderly gentlemen and a group of Williamsburg-esque youths. Nipples and moody tableaux abound. Using guns as foreplay? Sure. Shattering marble busts while topless? Great! It’s a mess of fur coats, autumn leaves and black cats. Andrea Balency’s voice guides you through the strange and lovely madness. It’s ethereal, peaking in squawks and slipping into an intimate, whispered warning: “don’t you dare play games with me.”
Crystals is Andrea’s introduction and is a sweet horror. There’s the smallest of drum clicks and delicious piano riffs sparkle over an ominous sense of menace. Andrea’s voice trills with the high frequency of Lykke Li, as she croons “difficult feelings/serious longing”, it’s as though Lykke Li replaced Julee Cruise in Twin Peaks.
Next track is "Adieu Creature"one of many fine selections from the set, is built around a chirping sample of Balency’s own voice. The song blooms from spare songbird electronica into a sumptuous ballad, matching her cooing syllables and falsetto squeals with cavernous bass and hiccuping percussion. It’s like Cœur de pirate meets FKA Twigs.
"This Wall" spirals with hypnotic washes of sound and vinyl crackles as Andrea’s vocal fall with the whimsy of nursery rhymes. Around her, vocal samples stutter and tremble it feels as though the song fades in and out of focus. Throughout the EP, whilst her song-writing is astute, it’s the mosaic production style that paints spectral flashes behind her, making the experience genuinely enchanting.
There’s a TEPR remix of You’ve Never Been Alone that brings Andrea into the EDM craze of now, but is done with greater emphasis on garage music than out-and-out chart dance and completes a debut EP from a self-assured voice.
This is an EP worthy of repeated late night listening. Walls EP is out June 23.
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