Anna B Savage
Anna B Savage’s in|FLUX slams desperation, longing, and romantic love right against each other to their limit: it makes sense the album is titled after these volatile emotions. Nowhere is this more clear than on “Pavlov’s Dog”, the psychology-based track that admits, “I’m here, I’m waiting, I’m salivating.”
The title track is the album’s most dynamic — after a first half of Björkian instrumentals detailing a breakup, it breaks into a frenetic energy, aided by a witchy laugh and jolts of screams. Her haunting vocals coat the outro, “I want to be alone / I’m happy on my own.” If “in|FLUX” is its most sure song, “The Ghost” is its most pleading — it devolves into begging a past lover to let the memory of them die. “What am I meant to do with how much I loved you?” she plainly asks in the outro. “It’s everywhere, under my nails, under my hair.”
A huge part of this album is the feeling with overwhelming desire — it’s found in the quiet complacency that buzzes into something larger on “Say My Name”, and “Touch Me” shows a glimpse of domestic life, one where the spark has faded and all the partner does is place a hand on Anna’s head before going off to bed. “My mouth would part to open those fingers,” she says, unknown to the oblivious partner. In our current state where our carefully curated selves are all we see, her writing is refreshing, its desperation not to make fun of, to just look at and see ourselves in all of it. There are spots that are too baked in realism, that takes one out of the listening experience: the over-explanation of the titular scientific phenomenon on “Crown Shyness” or the frustratingly simple “We had sex / I didn’t come” on the title track, but these are few.
These songs are theatrical by design, Savage’s writing intimate and complex all at once, and thankfully, its varied soundscapes keep one’s attention throughout. Savage is constantly at the bottom of one’s thumb through the whole album — with the exception of snarky comebacks on the title track and the tepid proclamation “I think I’m gonna be fine” on the closure — it’d be nice to see her at the top. But as a snapshot of a relationship where she kept on wanting more, she doesn’t hold back.
Pre-order in|FLUX by Anna B Savage HERE
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