Last year, we were enthralled by Aniqa Dear’s (Aniqa Qadir + James Atin-Godden) fun, electronic-tinged pop album Neither Here. On the band’s follow-up release Mimic, you can hear how much Aniqa Dear have developed their sound, softening the stutters yet maintaining their vivid hues.
On all four songs, Aniqa Dear weave in and out of shadows like they are playing a game of tag in a quiet cul-de-sac in the late afternoon sun. Some moments they are smiling in the sun, its warmth lifting their spirits and strengthening their bones: the twinkling synth in the title track, the bopping carnival-esq outro on “Someone,” and Qadir’s bright voice amongst the dense twirls of “Cog.”
Elsewhere, Aniqa Dear are weighed down and shrouded in darkness. “Every piece of me is heavy,” sings Qadir on “Someone” as she struggles to lifts her limbs – she eventually does so though in time to the aforementioned bopping towards the end of the song. “Cog” has a powerful undertow to it due to a bass synth and foreboding piano chords. The standout track “Anxiety, on the other hand, is remarkably smooth despite its title and moody disposition. I think it’s because of the delectable bass line strung throughout which placates the anxious loop Qadir is in.
To mimic is to copy. But Aniqa Dear’s second release is not quite like anything I’ve heard this year. And so it stands alone, waiting for someone to mimic it.
Top Track: “Anxiety”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)