Painted Girl - Familiar Trees of the North West
Familiar Trees of the North West
May 22, 2022
‘I’ll tell you what freedom is to me, no fear’
Nina Simone’s powerful statement bleats out of a fizzling speaker at the start of Nina. Almost instantly, a mellow but powerful guitar stakes its claim to the guiding hand of the track. Standing front and centre, it is joined by the vocal talent of anaïs. Her voice confidently falling onto the warm cushion of instrumentation. The moments she pushes forward with her cadence are instantly confident, the times when she pulls back have this lacy fragility to them.
As the track proceeds, she begins to skip playfully up and down an imaginative melodic scale. The instrumentation swirling around in the background, breaking like a gentle wave into the chorus. The graceful harmonies of the chorus, both in the high-pitched call and response at the start, and the euphoric backing choir that sidle in as anaïs sings passionately about the late Nine Simone and her words of wisdom.
We float effortlessly back to the smouldering guitar line of the verse, cushioned by the bubbling percussion. Anaïs guides us gently back into the chorus, utilising a poppy sensibility confidently but with imagination and heart.
We find ourselves in a clearing, as the artist repeats the rhythmic phrase ‘It’s going, going, going…gone’. She almost conducts the music around her as the heavenly strings and vocals begin to wrap themselves around her once again. We fall comfortably into her chorus hook once again.
Anaïs commands the track effortlessly. The instrumentation angelic and aflame in equal measure. It is impossible not to be swept up in the power the artist emits. Through her own talent and with the spirit of Nina Simone aiding her, the song is seriously enchanting.