In 1996, Paul McCartney founded the performing arts center Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts with Mark Featherstone-Witty, whose initials read the same as the surname of a certain British-Albanian singer. Among the illustrious students who have left this institute are Holly Humberstone, The Wombats, Kate Havnevik, Circa Waves and Dan Croll.
Anaïs Vila, singer-songwriter from Santpedor, Barcelona, studied at LIPA in the 2016-2017 academic year, specifically specializing in composition. She is a classic singer-songwriter, although, if she is part of that, let’s say, movement that could be called new Catalan song, she does so by obviously letting herself be influenced by the Anglo-Saxon sound.
This is especially noticeable on Anaïs Vila’s third album ‘Contradiccions’, from 2020, in which Vila embraces the predominant bedroom-pop and guitar-pop style of the British guitar song. Not so much the author’s song of the United Kingdom, but that of the United States, seems to influence the songs of his first album, the jazzy ‘Entre els dits’ (2015), while America guides the sound of ‘Fosc, cançons per veure- hi clear’. Although, in reality, all of these styles can be found interchangeably throughout her discography.
For her fourth installment, Anaïs Vila has decided to strip the songs down to their bare minimum. ‘Ara semper’ is an eminently “acoustic, poetic and mature” work in which “simplicity and discursive depth” go hand in hand with a “careful production.” Names like Ane Brun or Keren Ann may come to mind when listening to the single ‘Loop’, you actually want to have it “on loop”. For its part, ‘En vici’ incorporates drums and electric guitars, and Vila’s way of singing, half-spoken, is reminiscent of Courtney Barnett.
‘Ara semper’, which is published on January 26, will be about the ups and downs of love, relationships and breakups, but also about life in your thirties and the concerns that are defining our time, such as “the climate emergency, the frenetic life, anxiety, the need for connection with nature” or about “the hidden desires that coexist with the search for hope in the face of an uncertain future with few exits.” Songs to see clearly, without a doubt.