Camp Wavelength Review: Anamai31 August 2015 / by Jonathan Rodil (author)
Before Anamai’s set even began, one could tell this was going to be a different kind of experience. People gathered in but in not in the usual, standstill position. They had blankets, mats spread across the ground to sit, or simply set on grass. They had expectations, of which the band would meet with affective prowess.
The minimal approach taken by the band to performing gave way for the sound to reach the audience, creating an intimate and personal connection. “This is nap time for you guys,” said lead vocalist and guitarist, Anna Mayberry. In whatever way the audience followed through on the encouragement, some laid down or closed their eyes. Making this, in a way, a retreat from the noise that clutters up most of our daily lives. Coincidentally, even the weather may have played a part in the serene atmosphere, in the calming breeze that swept through the grounds, at one point later on in the set. For a music that’s quite reflective, it appeared as if the audience did the same, who were captivated by the darkly, gentle, intricate waves of sound. Throughout, hardly any chatter could be heard, this was a communal, yet individual listening session. An internalization of sorts.
It was an experience, more aural than visual. The band played with precision, intent on delivering on all nuanced details for a live set that brings a heightened sense of naturalism to the music. As is the case with the music of Anamai, which has an inherent quality of a familiar aloneness and punctuated subtlety, this translated well on-stage. Conducive to this was the expansive line up for the band, which included backup vocals and flute, bass, percussion and synths. These elements structured within the presentation of an ambient, morose texture, highlighting the space – a defining quality to the music. A deconstruction of sound, each component of the music broken down to a specific purpose tending to the celestial and grounded sonic environment.
Anamai’s lyrics are personal and cutting. When delivered live, it feels even more vulnerable. When Anna sings “Can you love me some other way?” off "Lucia", the raw emotion is there, seeking for a way even if it turns out to be hopeless. In one way, she delivers her vocals in a soothing, droning tone. In another, rough and pained to a near crackle. It is difficult to pour out such feelings, especially when you’re on stage and the music doesn’t necessarily serve as something to hide behind, but Anna follows through on being open and manages to do with a voice that’s genuine to the sentiments expressed.
Creating a community, while being uniquely personal is something that Anamai achieved during their set for Camp Wavelength. It strived on making a connection with the audience and promoted a calm, settled energy. You could space out and this was even suggested as the music really did have that feeling. Dreamscapes in awakening moments captured beautifully by Anamai.