Looking for a musician who can craft multiple genres into a sonic spectacular that maintains its unique and quirky identity? Peruse no further zealous music seekers, ‘Craze’, the EP from the wonderfully autonomous singer/songwriter and producer Anne Freier, better known as I am Harlequin, manages all of this and more.
The title track, ‘Craze’ is immediately atmospheric, with sombre, rich piano and a simple but searching percussion. Freier’s lush vocals soon pierce the soundscape, and her dulcet melodies kick off the pounding bass drum with a subtle, yet powerful drama that leaves the listener floating around in the stratosphere.
‘Something Else’ brings our feet right back onto the ground, which is very fortunate indeed, else we wouldn’t be able to move to its undeniably funky groove. I am Harlequin wastes no time in demonstrating her ability to spice up the mix with a stylish helping of electronica that transports us right back into the midst of the ‘80s.
Contrast this with ‘Because He Loves Them Both’, where Freier’s inspiration from 20th Century composers such as Prokofiev shines through – the delightfully dramatic strings are layered like pancakes topped off with a creamy drizzle of falsetto choral harmony that truly whets the musical appetite.
The tribal beats and idiosyncratic singing style in ‘Don’t Break the Silence’ communicates an intensely wide range of emotions to the listener, and the EP winds full circle to a mellow close in the gorgeously candid ‘Wild One’.
With a sterling year of live appearances and a new music video just released for the track ‘Craze’ – directed by Patrick Killingbeck and featuring Freier singing against a beautifully dynamic backdrop – sights are surely set on an album. For now, we can relish the brimming cauldron of indie/electro/Baroque – pop that I am Harlequin has so carefully brewed for our listening pleasure.