It’s like sleepwalking in your pajamas while being wrapped in a blanket of marshmallows while it’s snowing indoors, but you’re still warm and getting milk from the fridge to go with the peanut butter sandwich you just made.
You’re 17 and still in school. Your music totals some quarter of a million listens on Soundcloud and you’ve just been asked to describe your sound. How do you respond? Personally, I’d shit a brick.
It takes a certain preternatural confidence to answer it seriously. A stony self-belief that the questioner will not just laugh, a resolution that however pretentious you may come off that honesty is the best policy. The above response is not a typical music industry response because Ani Bharadwaj is not a run of the mill Internet sensation.
Prodigious teenagers are hardly a new thing to music – even before the Internet there was the marvel of Roddy Frame getting signed at 16 and having a hit single with Aztec Camera by 19 or The Arctic Monkeys exploding from a Sheffield garage to stardom within a year. In recent times, I’ve repeatedly pushed the greatness of Mura Masa, who may be the greatest thing ever to emerge from Guernsey. But, Ani is so grounded both musically and personally it’s a little frightening.
His music is like play-fighting with a sleepy Tiger – warm, fuzzy and reassuringly deadly. Music made of blood and sinew and love. Wishing Well, from his wondrous As We Know EP is a watery electronic echo, a rattle of sticks and barely tune piano, punctured by bone-jangling bass. It is both serene and shattering:
Who Knows is waking slowly and unwillingly at the wrong time; your body and mind lost between sleep and fear, the twisting lights of nearby traffic bouncing off the crazed shadows of night-time furniture, noise filtered through a broken kaleidoscope. It is delirious and delicious:
You can purchase the As We Know EP from Ani’s bandcamp including, should you have the inclination for such things, the vinyl pressing which should ship in the next few weeks. Listen and love, folks.
Weird Inside featured on Skewed Quiff a couple of months back – it’s taken me a while to get round to blogging about him – and you check out the full mix here:
Or check out the most recent selection of beautiful, sad, angry, uplifting music here: