There is something refreshingly honest and unique about the sound and songwriting style of Sydney based artist and musician Anca. Her music is unlike anything else of a similar genre right now – the way her voice sounds, the inflections used in her performances, the way her songs are crafted, how they develop, the way her lyrics appear. You get a sense that these are somewhat unedited versions of the truth, of genuine encounters. It’s incredibly valuable, and hugely appealing for anyone looking to discover new music that actually speaks openly – from a place of genuine human experience; however difficult or regrettable those experiences may have been. We’ve all done things we regret, or struggled with reality on occasion, so rarely though is it spoken about, particularly in music. Tomorrow In Sight is an EP that arrives as an absolute breath of fresh air.
Trainwreck is the opener and a strong place to begin, all of the above applies and more. Musically the song has a lighthearted yet subtly emotional pop feel to it, but again, the instrumentation and the softness of her voice make for something a little left of the expected. Red Flags follows on in a similar, comfortably familiar manner. The story telling continues in a free-flowing, stream of consciousness sort of way, though the music has a certain soulful swagger now – a lone electric guitar appears, a simple yet hypnotic bass-line, a thick and mellow drum beat. The song is artistically arranged so nothing about it is predictable. Anca’s approach to songwriting seems largely free from influence, it just is what it is, and that’s what gives it such a strong sense of identity.
Tomorrow In Sight is Anca’s debut EP. An additionally endearing side-note about it is that the piano featured throughout is the first piano she ever played and it has been in her family for four generations. There’s something really beautiful about this touch of history alongside of what is an undeniably new or fresh collection of songs. There’s a certain ambiance to the entire project that fills the room with gorgeously delicate riffs and space and melodies – knowing the background that inspired all of this brings a further touch of authenticity, brightening it up even more. .
Learning To Let Go is a stunning song, the sudden depth and poetry of the lyricism here is incredibly reflective and provocative. It brings about an unexpected element of certainty and confidence. Anca’s voice sounds incredible, the additional voices create a calming chorus around it, and the now recognisable guitar and piano parts fill out the remaining space with a smooth and considerate vibe. This one is the sort that makes you want to listen two or three times over to make sure those ideas really sink in.
Talk About It lifts the pace back up, there’s a mildly intense rhythm and sentiment to this one that again gets you thinking about the things that matter, the things that we don’t talk about, that we should. The further you get into this EP, the more you realise there is far more involved than a characterful presentation and style. The meanings run deep, the songs hit in a way that feels like reality knocking creatively at the door – making sure you’re not just bandaging over things that will later cause you to struggle even more. Hey Anna continues this sentiment in a deeply personal way, it comes with a dramatic and captivating musicality and build up, but in contrast with this accessible sound there’s also something mysterious and intriguing about it – the details we don’t know, that personal touch, that unedited truth again.
Anca cites Ed Sheeran, Missy Higgins, and Coldplay as some of her sources of inspiration. Nothing about her sound is overly recognisable, although for me, the songwriting style, the originality and honesty, reminded me of artists from a little further back – Alanis Morissette, Jewel, even Eddie Vedder to an extent – the unapologetically real story tellers.
Nana’s Song is the final track on the project and the strength and passion of Anca’s piano-led, deeply expressive writing and performance style comes together one last time to reflect on life, on the things that have affected her, the things that are important. Tomorrow In Sight is really a stand out project, well worth spending the time with if you’re the sort of music fan who likes to truly escape into soundscapes and provocative concepts. As an artist, Anca is one to follow. Hopefully there’s a lot more music to come.