Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Anzi, an up and coming independent pop artist who was recently signed to the indie label Chrome City Records. Her debut on the label, ‘On My Own,’ is a lovely pop ballad that was recorded at Blu Room Productions, a top-notch studio in the Washington, DC area. Is Anzi worth following, and is her new single worthy of your pop music collection this summer? Let’s dig into the new tune and find out.
Firstly, I must be blunt: there’s an unending wave of independent pop artists. I get about a dozen across my desk each week. Perhaps with the exception of hip hop, it is the most inundated section of the music community. That’s not a bad thing, however, it just means that the artists entering the genre must bring something excellent to the table to break through the noise. Anzi does a surprisingly good job of this, even if there is a lot of room for improvement as well.
Prior to exploring ‘On My Own,’ I went ahead and visited Anzi’s YouTube channel to get a better idea of her performance style. In particular, I noticed a unique cover of a Kacey Musgraves track, ‘Follow Your Arrow.’ Now, Musgraves is one of the most talented young people in the music industry right now. She also has a rather niche audience. Covering Musgraves sets an interesting tone for Anzi’s music, I’d argue. Musgraves has made her name on writing authentic country with a pop sensibility that’s not weighed down by tropes or vulgarity. If that’s what Anzi appreciates, that says a lot about what kind of music she’ll make.
‘On My Own’ is a pop ballad about a woman finding herself in the aftermath of a break-up. While that’s not the most original subject matter, Anzi does carry it very nicely. Her production is actually quite good, too, and it’s tinged with synthesizers and reverb. The bass is performed notably well, as is the piano. It’s a very concrete production for a brand new artist coming into the pop scene.
On Anzi’s behalf, the delivery is pretty soulful. I’d actually like to see her in an even more minimal soundscape - at times, she feels a bit constricted by the composition. If the music was looser and gave Anzi a bit more room to stretch her vocals, I think it would prove even more successful. It’s still fairly good for a debut, though, and Anzi does have a beautiful voice. There are a lot of fascinating places she could go with it.
‘On Your Own’ is a rather good debut single from an aspiring pop artist. I’d love to see Anzi dig her feet into more depth within her compositions and lyrics, but that’s something that’ll evolve as she performs and records more and more. Right now, if you’re a fan of pop music, ‘On My Own’ is better than a huge chunk of it in the indie scene.