In recent years, the human voice has been firmly on pop music’s agenda.
This might seem like an odd thing to say – after all, the voice is rarely absent from pop in its various forms. But it’s typically embodied and articulate, the narrative presence in a landscape of instruments. Lately, a range of artists have sought to weave the voice more deeply into its musical backing – whether UK dance producers slicing up R&B a cappellas or Arca twisting FKA Twigs’ vocal into weird, new forms.
Anneka’s "End Of It" – a free-to-download oddity, but also one of the best things the Brighton-based singer has put her name to – stands apart from this crowd. Yes, it’s a song in which the voice plays all of the roles, support as well as lead. But Anneka avoids extreme processing and editing, instead simply layering and layering her voice into a glorious multi-tracked choir.
The results evoke, over a scant two minutes, several moments in the long history of vocal music – the hallowed ambience of Baroque church music; the unsettling dissonance of modernist composer Ligeti – before things are brought to a triumphant conclusion. The voice may be the oldest instrument we have, but it still continues to surprise.