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Anna of the North has truly arrived as a live performer

15 February 2018, 23:58 | Written by Matthew Kent

Tonight, singer/songwriter Anna Lotterud and producer Brady Daniell-Smith use this set to shift gear from the spaced-out minimalism of Anna Of The North's glowing debut record, Lovers, to a full bodied demonstration of their symbiotic musical relationship.

Lovers is a ten track body of work which captures moments of extreme sadness and despair in the context of a relationship which is falling apart. The first full length album from Lotterud and Daniell-Smith featured only "Baby" from their previous bout of standalone singles meaning the effervescent "Us" and long-loved "The Dreamer" didn't make the cut, but still remain live staples. Their relatively small catalogue of released works could make for slim pickings when divising a setlist, but what they may lack in quantity they make up for in quality thanks to their lack of fillers.

This sold-out London headline sees the pair debut album closer "All I Want" for the first time live in what Lotterud describes will be "acoustic". Acoustic, no, but stripped yes, the track is the album's final statement, a plea of unrequited love, a glimmer of hope that maybe the relationship can be saved, but it can't be. While all the tracks have this same sense of melancholy, it's only for fleeting moments in which this is experienced head on.

Joking she wished they'd released a second album so they could play for another hour, its the final stretch of the band's set that really sees Lotterud come out of her shell. Holding on to the hands of fans as they adoringly sing back to the word to her anthems for the heartbroken, dancing to the expanisive live version of "Lovers" or going for it when the transcendental, albiet slightly absurd, key changes happens in the second chorus of "Someone", Lotterud has really arrived as a performer.

"Fire" takes its rightful crown as the clear highlight of the night, it stood out on the album due to its tropical house influenced sound and this warmth erupts from its core and its rave reception is met by genuine beaming smiles from its creators. It's the masterful arrangements from Daniell-Smith, with additional percussive elements, bonus guitar riffs, growing from a sonic world to a sonic universe, plus Lotterud's inviting yet commanding presence which make Anna of the North's set a joyous rediscovery of why we were first drawn to this dynamic pair and their syncopated Scandinavian synths.

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