PREMIERE: Anana’s “Vague” Distills Global Chaos Into a Serene, Electronic Lullaby

The Norwegian artist sounds like a siren soaring over the Nordic seas, lamenting the world's troubles.

Photo by Kristine Helliesen

“It’s liberating to point fingers in an offended world.” That’s the context accompanying Norwegian artist, musician and producer Anniken Jess Iversen aka Anana‘s upcoming EP, Well, and the first track we’re hearing off of it. Dubbed “Vague”, the four-minute song is a concise exploration in pop sensibilities and electronic production with a subtle political underbelly.

Throughout the song, Anana’s angelic vocals soar, tremble and crystallize into harmonies over unraveling production which seamlessly weaves soulful and clear piano with melancholic electronic expansion. As a result, listening to “Vague” feels like accompanying a mythical siren as she soars over the Nordic seas and laments the sorrows she observes through her voice (which is fitting, since she’s been branded as a creator of “underwater pop” in the past.) Because thanks to clean yet slightly removed production, “Vague” doesn’t feel like a deeply personal track as much as a response to the world around it—almost as if Anana’s telling you a fantastical yet emotional story from the sidelines. Which makes sense: on this track as well as the EP, Anana is pointedly addressing bad friends, empty words and a crumbling democracy—the latter of which are rapidly defining what it feels like to live in Europe and Scandinavia today. Plus, Anana emerges from KOSO, a Norwegian collective of female artists we’ve been following for a while which operates to highlight female creativity but also resist sexism in music and society as a whole. Considering that context, her music is undoubtedly political—but crafted meticulously enough that the quality of the music comes first and the agenda second.

If you dig this, Anana’s debut EP drops November 30th. Keep your eye out for it on KOSO.