Following an impressive 2021 with critical acclaim, anaiis has now released her highly anticipated debut album this is no longer a dream via her own independent imprint Dream Sequence Recordings.
The rising French-Senegalese artist already shared a glimpse of the upcoming project this year with single releases “vanishing” “juno” “reverie” and “chuu” which has promised to be her most honest and self-reflective work yet. Based around a challenging few years, anaiis has channelled her angst into music by digging deep within and finding herself once more. Resulting in the 12 track LP, this is no longer a dream shares her vulnerability and truth, whilst dedicated to those who’ve experienced similar feelings of self-doubt and gaslighting in any aspect of their lives.
Opening with soothing keys that transport to a dreamy soundscape, “undulations” introduces anaiis’ haunting vocals that have become a signature trait in recent months. With an epic vision for her work, “D.S.O.” an abbreviation for Dream Sequence Overture, perfectly creates the image of anaiis lost underwater and looking to resurface, symbolising her rebirth and evolution from the darkest corners of her mind.
Meanwhile, “ultraviolet” is a track packed with empowerment, reclaiming her identity and becoming in control of how she shifts her perspective to a positive place. Drifting through funky riffs and bass, anaiis’ spine-tingling harmonies flow effortlessly. Continuing the uplifting energy “chuu” featuring Topaz Jones sees her face and transform her thoughts head on, ridding herself of negativity and unworthiness.
Segueing to “vanishing” that glistened during her COLORS show, anaiis explores feelings of insecurity and losing control whilst stimueotaneously trying to grasp hold of her thoughts. Leading into “cry in your sleep” which is a mesmerising duet with revered reggae artist Chronixx, the track glimmers and chimes through a celestial soundscape, acting as reminder that there’s hope of a better reality.
Taking a melancholic turn, “reverie” draws on loss of identity whilst maintaining anaiis’ unique and soul-drenched edge underpinned with warm sax riffs and rhythmic bass. Continuing the theme, “make it easier“ boasts choir esque arrangements whilst anaiis explores difficult thoughts that are expressed beautifully with a glowing light of optimism that flickers throughout.
Manifesting her dreams, “be alright” and “juno” continues to see anaiis rise from the darkness, desperately clutching hold of every opportunity to save herself. Drawing the LP to a close, she finds peace in the simple life from once upholding narratives that never truly gave her satisfaction. Finding inner healing, “transcending” nods towards anaiis’ new found acceptance for herself, letting go and coming to terms with her new beginnings. Despite the suffering to get to this stage, anaiis growth is witnessed in its entirety as she takes charge of her own life once more.
Marking an impressive journey, the break down of anaiis’ hardships and trauma, juxtaposed with the self-affirmation and hope flourishes in front of the listener. Taking numerous events from sitting with her deepest thoughts in isolation during the pandemic to leaving her record label and becoming homeless, anaiis has unpacked these challenges and navigated them to mould her into the best version of herself. Sonically channelling influences from the likes of FKA Twigs, Nao and Frank Ocean, her project is a radiating vessel of self love that is ultimately a reminder to us to reconnect with our inner sevles whilst demonstrating a true gift that cements anaiis as an undeniable rising singer-songwriting star.
anaiis this is no longer a dream is out now via Dream Sequence Recordings, buy / stream here
Photo credit: Alexandra Waespi.