The tracks of Anna Painting, the new EP from Four Tet (Kieran Hebden), were originally created to be played at an exhibition of work by painter Anna Liber Lewis. This origin story makes sense for a record like Anna Painting - even without visual accompaniment this vivid music is the sort of thing that has you conjuring up images in your own head as you listen to it.
Colourful sounds have long been a feature of Hebden’s output, be that the busy beats of his club tracks or the rich soundscapes that crop up time and again across his work. The first two entries on Anna Painting, ‘Anna Painting’ and ‘Lahaina Noon’, bring these two elements together. Locking into a crisp house shuffle, the EP’s title number is dappled with pretty synthesised chords and a chirruping three-note synth motif. ‘Lahaina Noon’ is more active but no less lovely, the track’s quicksilver drum programming occasionally augmented with a droning lead line or dawn-chorus keyboards. This is Hebden very much in New Energy mode, using rhythm as a way to anchor ambient explorations.
Anna Painting ends with its most overtly new age-inspired cut. There are no drums on ‘Breath’ - Hebden instead provides us with a calming synth meditation. This track of gently lapping chords and wistful atmospherics reminds one of Laraaji and Hebden’s former collaborator Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.
Four Tet’s new EP Anna Painting is a bright, shiny morning in sound.