4 Degrees - Anohni

from the album Hopelessness (2016)

A few weeks ago, some funky friends were over for a late night dance party.  I put on my Paradise Garage mix that features the best of all things Larry Levan - coupled with other great underground NYC dance tunes.  Somewhere in the blur, Levan's 12" version of Situation by Yaz dropped.  It was our zenith.

In the days that followed, my Yaz fuse reignited.  Upstairs At Eric's bounced in my headphones as I worked to make ends meet.  How I miss this band.  Why can't we live in a world where Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet produce magical songs every day?

Then, through some odd serendipity, I was grabbing an espresso at the Dancing Goat when a song with a Yaz-esque vibe started playing.  A couple of Shazam spins later and presto: 4 Degrees by Anohni.

When I got home that night I gave it a closer listen.  The operatic vocals were counterpointed by an incredible arrangement.  For example, about a minute into the record the strings play a quick staccato - emoting the kinetic urgency of a big city newsroom - over a primitive beat.  This frantic soundscape perfectly sets this song about climate change.  Such intellectual exactitude pervades the entire record.

Check out the full album.  It is excellent.

Click Here to listen to 4 Degrees by Anohni.