Anna Meredith straddles numerous musical worlds, draws out their most interesting elements and creates something very individual and irresistibly dynamic. The track Nautillus first caught our (and others’) ears when it appeared in 2012, its mutant brass fanfare seemingly dripping with portent and then, just as climax is anticipated, Meredith deftly combines conflicting time signatures and takes the track somewhere unexpected.
Her clear affinity with laptop jockeys and electronica generally is similarly paired with her love of contemporary classical composition and a love of the alternative pop form – is that a shout to The Pixies that keeps catching the ear via those sporadic, joyful choruses adorning her album Varmints? She’s also worked as Composer In Residence with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and composed pieces for use in an MRI scanner, for park benches in Hong Kong and for sleep pods in Singapore.
But Meredith’s music is in no way dry or academic, recalling that aforementioned Massachusetts quartet and maybe even prime-time Tortoise, all delivered live via electronics, a drummer and orchestral players. The Wire described Varmints as “electronic pop that’s both accessible and out-there: something very special,” whilst Loud & Quiet spoke of “balance(ing) its avant-garde indulgences with fully-formed songs and recognisable instruments to delve into the minutiae of modern life.” And like all great records, it really makes you want to experience Anna Meredith and band live. So now you can.