Anika Moa’s self-titled album is a tender acoustic record that chronicles love, selfishness, forgiveness, and ultimately moving on.
The Auckland-based singer-songwriter recorded the album in New Orleans over eight days with a talented American backing band, which was the first time she returned to the States since recording her debut album Thinking Room.
On her ninth album to date, Anika Moa weaves through ballads about love, forgiveness, and jealousy through strong melodies and moving song structures.
To Be Young, To Be Sad is an acoustic-guitar driven track that opens the album with themes of growing up and becoming responsible, but also coming to terms with things we don’t have anymore.
In the Arms of a Woman is about the good and bad times of any relationship, but also about selflessness in love – giving all we have even when we feel we aren’t giving enough.
Buttercup is drenched in early-00s, RnB vibe that takes you straight back to sweeter times. It’s strongly melodic, Anika creating an enchanting, whimsical atmosphere miles away from reality. It chronicles an intoxicating form of love, an addiction to all the wrong feelings.
1993 is actually about the first time Anika met her father. Speaking to Stuff, she shared:
“It’s absolutely word-for-word what happened. I was walking home from school when I was 13 and he pulls up in a stolen car – of course, because he’s Māori – and he winds down the window and goes ‘Anika!’ and I go, ‘What the f… do you want?’ and he goes, ‘I’m your father,’ and I go, ‘Sweet. Cool. OK.'”
“He got me stoned, he got me pissed, I learnt how to roll joints. It was awesome and then I was like, ‘I miss my mum,’ and then I went home.”
Heavy Head is a piano-fronted ballad about fighting with your significant other and hating yourself for it, but ultimately being forgiven by yourself and the other.
Cry is about loving someone, knowing that you are being foolish and will get hurt, while Fire Of Her Eyes is a tale of passionate lovers and being driven insane by love.
You’re The Only Love I’m Near closes the album on a bittersweet note, as Anika sings about letting go of the one you love so that they can follow their heart, “even if it means you’re breaking the other.”
Anika Moa’s self-titled album is out now.