Anjali Ray’s – Giant, is the new EP project by this wonderful artist with a voice that combines east and west, bringing roots from both America and India to her vibrantly jazzy pop sound. This is a truly gifted talent who writes and sings like an angel. Ray comes from the Chicago area and she also works in LA, but she has a background in India as well, which adds volumes to the mix of what she does. The disc opens with “Different Side Of Me” which gets the EP off the ground with a smoking hot entrance. You’ll be tapping your toe to this within the first few seconds and the rest does its own business.
There’s almost no way for any music lover to miss what Ray’s able to do within the context of just one song, her voice is much too demanding to let the lyrics go unnoticed. This is proven ten-fold on the next number, “Giant” itself, being the EP’s big title and concept showcase. It starts off with her exquisite voice, with the first verse making way for bigger things to come, before getting back to verses but building up an edge with each verse as it goes. Once it gets into the second half of the song you’re won over by the majesty of it all, and Ray can do no wrong from one end of the other on this huge song that makes the EP.
Things take a turn for the melancholy with the following track, “Illicit” being just the right time to cool the jets with a piano ballad to focus on her overall vocal prowess. You can slice this-numerous ways between the complexity of the music and the command presence of Ray’s voice, to find it a wonderful song placed right in the middle of the EP. It’s the only song where she goes full on ballad, but the EP does contain some other mellow moments. It’s just that this one dominates like that of no other track on the disc, and it’s not hard to notice. This could also be the sleeper track of the disc, as well.
The disc gets slightly experimental on “Marionette” which seems to surround the title itself with sound effects that reflect being in a puppet show to an extent, which lends perfectly to the title and subject matter. This track is very reminiscent of artists like Tori Amos, Kate Bush and Sarah McLachlan, the latter of which is sited as an influence. The sound effects are very percussive and there’s even some fantastic drumming to spice it up. Once the vocals are treated with double tracking, the song comes to life and there’s no place to go but to follow it down to the finish line.
“Where’s The Heart” closes the set on a somber note, but a good one from Ray with one of the deepest efforts on the disc. This track probably contains the least amount of music but centers more around this voice of beauty that should be praised for her ability to sound like she’s coming from various languid directions. This is where her western and eastern voices meet with a sublime result that is mesmerizing to the ear, and just another reason to seek out this superior alternative pop artist.