Today, Anna Meredith shares “Taken”, the latest single to be revealed from her forthcoming debut album Varmints. Following on the heels of her previous single “R-Type”, “Taken” “evokes a clear sense of triumph,” writes Stereogum. “With flickering arpeggios of guitars and speak-sung anthemic vocals,” they write, “it builds to a steady, exhilarating climax.” Meredith says, “When I’m teaching composition to students I quite often do a pompous ramble about how writing a ‘pop song’ is one of the hardest things you can do. There’s nowhere to hide behind the material, it needs to be catchy – but for the right reasons I think this is the closest I’ve ever got to nailing one!”
The follow-up to 2012’s Black Prince Fury EP, and 2013’s Jet Black Raider EP, Meredith’s debut full length Varmints will be released on March 4th, 2016 via Moshi Moshi.
For all its atmospheric diversity, Varmints is held together by Meredith’s expert understanding of dynamics. “Pacing is a physical thing,” she explains. “I can feel when stuff has to happen in a track. I knew I wanted Varmints to end privately but start confidently, have moments of privacy and moments of power and build. I love writing a build – my friends talk about ‘the Meredith Build’! I love the feeling of ‘get on board, we’re building up now!’ Even if you’re dancing at a club, there’s an amazing transparency to a build. When somebody is creating anticipation, it’s a very communal experience and I don’t like hiding those structures.”
Varmints opens with the enormous and brassy surge of “Nautilus” which Meredith describes as: “the best version of me, the most confident and bombastic. The best I can be, with three gins!” There’s the complexity of “Shill,” a piece that Meredith conceived as a “punk palate cleanser” and a kind of “workout” for her orchestrally experienced collaborators. The thready, ticking pulse of the closing “Blackfriars,” meanwhile, crosses into new territory for Meredith, marking out a more personal course. “It’s different to everything else, it’s quite personal. I wouldn’t normally want to write about things happening to me but I did have a bit of a terrible time last year – I was a bit heartbroken – and it was the first time I’ve tried to work out a feeling like that in a track.”
Aside from sharing bills with Anna Calvi, James Blake and These New Puritans, Meredith’s dizzying CV includes being Composer in Residence for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, a piece written for MRI scanner, soundtracking PRADA’s Spring/Summer 2015 campaign, symphonies created for nursery children, music for park benches in Hong Kong and sleep-pods in Singapore. Recent performances at the BBC Proms have included collaborations with Laura Marling and The Stranglers for the first 6Music Prom, a performance of her body-percussion piece “Connect It” from the BBC Ten Pieces project and her Last Night of the Proms composition “Froms” was simultaneously performed by five symphony orchestras across the UK, was broadcast to an audience of 40 million people.