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Anna of the North straddles mainstream and mysticism with "Us"

19 August 2016, 09:30 | Written by Grant Rindner

Soulful Scandinavian singer Anna of the North has all the makings of a nascent superstar.

Her music, released methodically and deliberately, seemingly always right when you realise she's been off the radar for a while, marries intimate lyrics and delivery with massive, swooping backdrops. But these aren't EDM arena-fillers that Anna sings over; her instrumentals are airy and majestic, a breath of crisp, cold air providing a musical shakeup you didn't know you needed.

Latest track, "Us", continues the move towards a more radio-ready style that was started with "Baby". The song's synths bubble to the surface from all directions, and the spacey soundscape feels ripe for a thousand Majestic Casual YouTube remixes.

It's perhaps her most upbeat track thus far, with warm, sugary drums, and vocals that ping-pong around your headphones until they tire and decide to lodge themselves in your brain instead.

At the centre of it all is Anna, who has mastered that balance between mysteriousness and accessibility, making her truly a fascinating figure. She isn't a heart-on-the-sleeve lyricist and she keeps her vocals measured, but the doses of personality she's shown are both resilient and uncertain on "The Dreamer", are wary on "Baby", and are endearingly frank and intoxicating on "Us".

In four tracks Anna has managed to make listeners truly care about her and crafted an identity that is simultaneously unique and ready for the global stage. Those are things artists spend entire careers striving for, and she's managed to make them happen with a handful of songs. We can't imagine what she could do with a whole record.

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