[sic] Magazine

First Glances – Anna

Hold on to your hats feminists because Anna is actually Martin Vidy, a one-man outfit out of Tours, France and his new LP, WAE, is sub-titled Women Are Evil. Yes, he’s another of those artists seeking a modicum of mysterious obscurity by hiding behind capitalisation and female monikers, but the first, to our knowledge, to do so in the field of garage-psyche/folk. He’s not the type to mean what he says, though, assuming we can trust his creaky bedroom recordings, most of his snotty, English-language vocals obliterated by reverb in any case.

Storm-in-a-teacup controversy aside, however, WAE comes on like a collection of early Ty Segall demos – the weirdo, warped ones when he wasn’t going for muscle and preferred melody. The riffs remain though and many of Vidy’s tracks are rather nifty indeed, limited only by their lo-fi recording, budget equipment and lack of personnel. Symptomatic of their solo stewardship, WAE’s thirteen songs meander in and out of focus, sleepy tempos speeding up quickly and pivoting as and when they wish. The result is often surprisingly minimal and a track like “Spectral Feelings” is barely there at all, but, just as it should, when WAE does reach critical mass, such as on would-be stomper “Orient Fog”, it threatens to spiral wildly out of control.

Through it all shines Vidy’s invention, an odd chorus of effects culled from whatever electronics he had to hand. As their best, these intrusions slip by seamlessly. The gentle raga of “The Sea”, for example, is hardly interrupted by the bubble and squeak of Vidy’s budget organ, but, at the other end of the spectrum, the titular “Casio SA-20” immortalised in the fully electronic closer is wholly out of place. Still, eleven out of thirteen ain’t bad (the intro, too, is a bit of a non-event). True, lose the bookends and the shelf may become unstable, but you’d be a fool to judge this one by its covers all the same.

~WAE was released October 23rd 2015 via Howlin Banana Records.~