FRIDA - انا مين - Ana Min - EP REVIEW

Updated: 7 days ago



FRIDA

Ana Min

Beirut, Lebanon


Credit - Benno Hunziker

'Ana Min' is the third album/ep released by Beirut-based artist Frida. The four songs within this project aim to project the philosophy of Love and Liberation through a mix of folk, soul and pop influences to name a few.


Frida's efforts on this project combine with those of a multitude of musicians to add the magic touch! These include Florian Bolliger (bass), Félix Fivaz (drums) Scarlett Saad (keyboards, guitar), Ramy Akiel (qanun) and Patrik Abi Abdalla (percussions and drums).


The project also has one other trick up its sleeve - 4 songs, and 3 languages! Ana Min is truly a celebration of culture through its use of Arabic, English and French linguistics. So let's get into these highly intriguing pieces to see what they are made of!


The opening song is pronounced Ana Min - translated into English as 'Who Am I'. This is a truly stunning production from start to end. The bassline carries an experimental tone along with a subtle shake of percussion in the background. Frida's vocals are unique, I certainly haven't heard a vocal range and tone like hers before within the Arabian music that I have listened to in the past. It's intriguing and refreshing to hear something so very different. The lyrics are an existential collection of poetics. This experimental Arabian Folk piece embeds the familiarities of Arabian culture with the desire to step out of the ordinary. Ana Min contains some gorgeous imagery and heartfelt instrumentation!


'Look How The Water Is' transitions into a haunting yet stunning piece. The opening keys are played in a minimalistic acoustic to lift the listener into the piece. As the piece progresses listeners are given a higher-pitched and choppy layer of keys along with a funeral march-style drum and uplifting Arabian qanun. When combined with the depth of Frida's vocals, this piece becomes a standout production on this EP. There's something extremely magical within this piece.


We now transition away from Arabic and into French vocals through 'D'Être'. The song brings a romanticised lyrical content that urges listeners to be at one with their existence. Self-proclaimed poetry sweeps listeners out of their surroundings and into a visualisation of contentment and appreciation. The production rides on a dominant bassline opening along with an almost Spanish-infused acoustic guitar composition. Again, the vocals of Frida bring a sassy and satisfying addition. As the pieces weave in and out of their mix the audience is taken along the stream and into the heartbeat of the song.


Concluding the journey of this EP is a song titled 'I’m gonna be a Sailor' - a fitting ending to such a sea of talent. The song is an invitation to follow the artist to "that shine, to that glistening line where the sun and the sea come to dance”. Frida has a way with words that don't ever get lost in translation. A poet and musician in the truest form. The song acts as a call for all to get lost in the wilderness of infinite possibilities. Keeping to a folk storytelling style sees Frida spins tales of the sea. The instrumentation is sassy, classy and spectacular - Frida's vocals embed the sounds of Arabia, France and England throughout the duration of the production. An overly jazz-inspired ending to an overall incredible release!