Review: Anna Wise & Jon Bap – geovariance (self-released, Jun 27)

Art R&B crooner Anna Wise and soul experimenter Jon Bap quietly released geovariance, a completely unexpected collaboration album, back in June. If it hadn’t been for Wise’s guest appearance on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly – an album I’m not super into but many of my friends are – it might have completely passed me by, which would have been a real shame. Thankfully, it didn’t, and I was able to experience this incredibly unique record, which, even coming from the combined creativity of two ambitious young artists, is pretty damn weird. The album’s style is cohesive but hard to pin down, with many of the songs ending up as eclectic collages of dusty ambiance, spastic glitches, and distorted voices. Despite its variety, the whole thing has a distinct lo-fi, bedroom atmosphere, which is a surprisingly complementary frame for these sounds. “it was 6am. we were in your car… and you looked cute with my shirt on,” with its shifting delay-soaked harmonies, creaks and clacks, beautifully broken guitar strums, and overall looping wooziness, is a perfect representation of how gorgeous geovariance can be. It’s not as consistently fantastic as this song would make me hope, but it’s promising and high-reaching, and bodes well for the future careers of both Wise and Bap.