Reviewed by Aaron Cloutier
Laguna Beach, California’s own Anika, comes to play in our eardrums with the impressively epic pop ballad “Dancing In The Rain.”
First off, I want to say that I love the arrangement choices going on with this track. There are a bunch of charming surprises happening here. The first half of verse 1 begins the way that any typical pop song would, as Anika’s sultry vocals weave through the first few lines.
“I don’t wanna see you crying right now….”
This amalgamation of vocal melodies and harmonies is coming together like an angelic choir on the lyric “OR EVER!!!!!” So huge and powerful!
At this point, the song officially had my attention.
I listen on, hoping that such a strong hook will be repeated a second time because that would be a waste if it wasn’t.
Sure enough, as the second half of the verse plays out:
“I know it hurts to see us free and alone.”
I hear the choir of angels return as a beautifully massive blast of “TOGETHER” roars out of my speakers. At this point, it’s essential to add that though the emotional size of these arrangements feels enormous to me in my mind, they never sound overwhelming. I would chalk that up to some stellar production and a well-balanced mix.
Anyway, before I know it, boom! I’m already on to the pre-chorus. From there on out, I was fully invested in the music.
As I continued listening, I realized how little instrumentation is used throughout. At least if we’re talking about instruments that are being played throughout the entirety of the song.
Aside from the core of piano, synth, and some lush-sounding harps, there’s a more sparse inclusion of elements like drums and the occasional bass line here and there. The thing is, they always seem to be weaving in and out. The attention to dynamics on this track is impressive. Once again, the only real constant to my ear is the vocals that enveloped my ears with a warmth and depth of expression that held me until the song’s end as Anika expertly weaves in and out of gentle light voice registration to full-on belting.
The songwriting is top-notch as well! Each song section feels expertly written and strategically placed to become an instant earworm for any unsuspecting listener who happens upon them. Every top-line melody feels like a hook unto itself. Any musician who takes the time to explore the chord progressions underneath will find a plethora of harmonic complexity in the changes.
All in all, “Dancing In The Rain” was a pleasant surprise and a thoroughly satisfying listen. One I will be returning to shortly. If inventive pop music with strong songwriting chops, refreshing arrangements, and killer vocals is up your alley, you won’t be disappointed.
Anika is a pop recording artist from Laguna Beach, California, with something important to say. Anika made her debut with her hit song Are You Down and has since followed it up with Make Me Wanna. The release of her first EP, "Anika," will be on August 4th! Anika's love for music started when she was young, and her songwriting reflects the Gen-Z experience but with old and new school influences like Queen, ABBA, and Bruno Mars.
A versatile pop artist, Anika works with the critically acclaimed Music Producer Mark Vogel to create songs in a variety of pop styles.
Learn more at her website: https://anikasworld.com/