"Collaborating isn't very natural to me" says Ana Rita de Melo Alves aka 'anrimeal'. For her debut album conceived and created as the world went into lockdown, this preference for solitude is no great hardship.
Originally from Porto, de Melo Alves moved to her current home of London in 2016. There, in her bedroom studio she has blended minimalist textures with repetitive pulses and drones. These form an organic ambient backdrop to a honey sweet voice that serves as an instrument in its own right, notably in the title track where the vocals are cut, pasted and distorted.
The music is inspired by her readings, dreams and the work of the late German-born American sculptor Eva Hesse. For de Melo Alves, Hesse exemplified the way a female artist could use nature both as subject and material; she particularly admired her boldness in creating "art that could be seen as messy or dirty.". In other words, Hesse demonstrated how beauty can be found in many forms
This album was recorded solo with the one exception being I Am Not which features contributions from guitarist Huw Roberts and percussionist Miguel Crespo who create a chaotic centrepiece with vague echoes of the shifting moods in Jeff Buckley's Mojo Pin.
The nine songs begin with Marching Parades and end with Death. De Melo Alves says “the whole album actually has very few elements, they’re just constantly reworked to sound different.”
Taken as a whole, she has managed to create a swirling, absorbing and mysterious atmosphere that is introspective and morbid yet also joyful.
Anrimeal at Bandcamp