In today’s age, technology has flooded our lives with content. Caught in the mire are today’s musicians who champion an art form that’s more widely distributed than any other throughout human history. And we, more often than not, overlook the music created by unfamiliar faces because it’s challenging. We’d rather have an easy listen, a known quantity to skim through while we think about something else.
Hearing is easy, but listening is difficult. Welcome to “Why We Like It”, where we rebuke the trends in favor of thoughtful analysis and underknown sounds.
“Cloud Nine” — Anna Nita
How We Found It
It’s been a while since I’ve been on cloud nine, for reasons that really need no elaboration. It was nice, then, to catch a glimpse of what I’ve been missing in our SubmitHub inbox this week, when Dutch neo-soul songstress Anna Nita slid us her own take on elation. It’s that soft-spoken joy that’s been missing for a minute, and it’s good to have it back, even momentarily.
Why We Like It
“Cloud Nine” is a jam. That’s one of those quickdraw words that hangs from the belt of the industrious music writer, like ‘vibe’ or ‘ethereal,’ but Anna Nita’s newest track presents an earnest, jazz-inflected soul joint that more than earns the designation. I’m not saying there’s some incredible Grateful Dead-style improvisation at hand, but there is a kind, restrained band rapport, a mainstay of yesteryear that’s something of a curiosity in modern R&B. It’s the tight, tender base from which the Dutch singer-songwriter explores idle fantasies and lovelorn want.
It’s a coincidence that Anna’s track, exploring the anxious highs and distant lows of an uncertain crush, comes at a time when the world is all but shuttered. That only makes her vivid daydreams all the more pressing, with those solitary admissions – “all the time you’ve been on my mind, oh boy / could you give me some kind of sign?” – looking to bridge the space between the pair, a simmering desire that’s grown all too apparent. It’s a song for a wandering mind; a vision of love and consummation for the lone and lonely.
Anna’s vocal is deceptively simple: it doesn’t overextend itself in the pursuit of some glorious crescendo, instead finding power and character in her strong inflections. A soft support glides in and out of her verses, the guitar skirting around her melody before breaking into a crisp, clear Mayer-esque instrumental solo. Anna returns for the close, patient as ever, and though it mightn’t be the most dynamic and gripping listen of you week, “Cloud Nine” is more than worth the time. It’s a slow, soft balm in this day and age, particularly when so many of us are trapped in want, similarly thinking about that which we can’t have.
From The Artist
I wrote “Cloud Nine” while looking back at a crazy period in my life. I had just seen the movie Call Me By Your Name. It reminded me of the time when I fell in love so hard that it took over my life. I couldn’t eat, sleep, but I still felt good. My zodiac sign is Pisces. I am a dreamer, very sensitive, and I fall in love quite easily. Love can feel like a really heavy drug. When I am on Cloud Nine, I see everything in bright colors and feel like I am flying all the time. I love it, although it has been destructive at times as well. “Cloud Nine” is an ode to love.” – Anna Nita for CentralSauce (2020)
More From The Artist
We’re getting in on the ground floor with Anna, who just released her debut project, a four-track EP titled Insulated. “Cloud Nine” is the first track on the record, so throw it on and let it spin, running you through the lonesome and longing title track, the bitterly fierce “Motherfuckers” and the mournfully gorgeous “Home.” You can find out a bit more about the project over on Anna Nita’s YouTube channel, where she’s running through her craft in celebration of the release.
More to Discover
Subscribe to the CentralSauce mailing list so you never miss out on the freshest sauce. Check out this continuously updated playlist of songs Conor has added to our Discovery section! Each track or artist has been featured in our “Why We Like It” section, so be sure to check out the page here on the site.