Anyone who reads my review of Venus’s debut EP, Come Night, Come Day, will know how her ground-breaking album ushered in a new era of Swedish R&B. This EP has won me over again and again, engrossing me with her darkly twisted beats and emotive vocals like an addict yearning for another fix. Even though we gave it five stars, I was still disappointed not to see it nominated for a Swedish Emmy.
Despite a name change, Venus Anon’s second EP, Nocturnal, retains the debut’s intriguing, after-dark vibes. A striking example is the track Window capturing Venus’s desire for honesty. With a broken beat, this R&B’s mood is sullen without sounding gloomy.
The way she uses space in the arrangements is one of the details that set Venus apart. For instance, the instrumentation interludes draws emotion in the mellow, R&B-fused single Fire To A Moth. This creates an opportunity for the listener to engage deeper with the music, and it works. This the difference betten art and commercialism.
Adding an injection of higher pace, Jessie is a drum and bass single about a warehouse worker wishing for a better future. The song’s line ‘it could be whatever you want it to be‘ reflect what Venus’s music conveys – dream big.
For this reviewer, the collection’s highlight is Better Place featuring Alma. With their gentle yet confident voices, Venus and Alma deliver a melodic story over a laid-back, funky bass lick. One can almost picture a darkened studio they might have recorded in. This is nordic noir.
Following Venus’s debut EP would always be challenging, but this one came damn close. Nocturnal will leave no doubt about Venus Anon’s star status, just as she appears in the cover art.
Nocturnal - Venus Anon
Venus Anon's second EP, Nocturnal, retains the debut's intriguing, after-dark vibes. It will leave no doubt about her star status, just as she appears in the cover art.