If you haven’t been keeping up with Anna Wise since she first launched her solo career off of several high-profile features on Kendrick Lamar’s last three projects, let me quickly catch you up. Last year she released her divine debut EP The Feminine: Act I, which featured the spectral-yet-biting singles “BitchSlut” and “Precious Possession.” This year, she followed it up with the wider reaching, even more stunning follow-up The Feminine: Act II. Continuing to explore themes of unapologetic femininity and cast composed battle-cries against structural sexism, Act II dug deeper into the otherworldly neo-soul soundscapes Wise has proven deft at weaving together, while also broadening out to welcome new textures such as cosmic funk and Lana Del Rey-esque ballads.
Wise continues to demonstrate the high level of her craft and singularity of her vision in the self-directed video for “Balance In All.” The smooth, twinkling Act II standout gets a slow-burning visual fixating on Wise across a number of natural backdrops, which match the mood of cavalier lyrics like, “If you look closer/ Smell the sun on your skin/ Don’t listen to what’s important.” The film style is similar to that of her previous self-directed clip for “Coconuts,” yet shoots Wise in a far less synthetic environment and unadorned without companions, leaving the focus unflinching on Wise’s entrancing charisma. She shared some background on the clip:
I grew up in Northern California close to what I call the ocean forest. My family would often visit Muir Woods. There are trees so big there you can’t wrap your arms around them. On these family trips I’d sneak off into a private corner of nature and sing to the Redwoods. I felt completely isolated in my private nature nook, although my mom always had an eye on me. I fell in love with the dense green and became acquainted with silence. I’d lie still and watch nature reveal itself to me. The faint smell of salt water reminded me the Pacific Ocean was just beyond the foliage curtain. It wasn’t until I moved to Brooklyn that I realized I grew up in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and I began to miss it terribly. Recently, I had a chance to return home. I felt drawn to document where I first felt wild and free as a child. ‘Balance In All’ is a tribute to the ecstatic healing powers of nature, the natural anti-depressant of fresh air and bird songs, and the cleansing power of the ocean.
Watch the video and check out her upcoming tour dates below.
04/13 Boston, MA @ The Middle East
04/19 Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground*
04/20 Boston, MA @ Sinclair*
04/26 Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool^
04/27 Philadelphia, PA @ Foundry at Fillmore*
04/28 Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall*
04/29 Cleveland, OH @ Beachtend Ballroom*
04/30 Ferndale, MI @ Magic Bag*
05/02 Madison, MI @ High Noon Saloon*
05/03 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry*
05/06 Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall*
05/09 Columbus, OH @ A&R Bar*
05/11 Nashville, TN @ Exit/In*
05/23 Austin, TX @ Antonia*
05/24 Dallas, TX @ Trees*
05/30 Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey*
05/31 Portland, OR @ Star Theater*
06/02 Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey*
06/03 San Diego, CA @ Belly Up*
06/06 Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar*
06/08 Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue*
06/09 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre*
06/11 St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall*
*** w/ St. Beauty
* w/ Lewis Del Mar
^ w/ James Tillman
The Feminine: Act II EP is out now.