‘Ana’s Life’ by Blanche Blanche Blanche
I’ve been keeping a close eye on this enigmatic, OSR-affiliated pop group, simply because I never quite knew what to expect; yet everything that emerged — whether it be a cryptic VHS glitchfest uploaded to their YouTube or a new track that had somehow got caught in the blogosphere’s dreamcatcher — always delighted and puzzled to equal effect.
Ana’s Life is a blisteringly paced cut from their new LP that’s pretty indicative of the off-kilter, outsider-aesthetic that spans it’s sixteen track duration. From the opening syncopations you are driven through a series of elaborate ideas and tonalities that don’t so much as gel, but clash together with a giddy sense of experimentation and a clear disdain for normality. It’s a well-orchestrated mess, where Zappa-esque, virtuoso keyboard solos are oft-sabotaged by a mushed palm across the keys, and a rushed tempo constantly undercuts it’s own haphazardly constructed rhythms. You won’t find many powerchords here either; even the plainest scale is sullied by an off-colour note or six.
Sarah Smith’s droll sing-speaking is another weird mix of precision and tunelessness, while her lyricism could be described as being ‘literary’: a vaguest-of-the-vague umbrella term I’m not really a fan of, but has the useful property of encompassing a wealth of meanings, ranging from verbose to cerebral, dense, referential, or character-based, all of which are helpful when trying to describe the busy narrative compendium of Wink With Both Eyes. Stream the whole thing at Ad Hoc. It’s totally strange and totally singular.