New artist profile: Anni Pohto merges electronica and indie pop and creates a musical conclusion for herself
The Swedish singer and songwriter Anni Pohto is hardly a new artist in the strict sense, but she is new to Your EDm and we are happy to have found her. After releasing two EPs and a number of singles since 2014. Their style usually ranges between pop, ambient indie electronica and indie rock. Your new album seems to have some surprises in store. The upcoming The Rising, due out this summer, seems to offer a scaled-down version of their usual EDM-infused style from the first two singles “Deep” and “Closure”.
It’s not to say that the entire album will be pared down or completely devoid of beats, but in the first two examples Pohto focuses on melodic vocals and, of course, her wonderful storytelling ability. “Deep” was released in November 2020 and while the electronic elements that normally predominate in their music are very pared down, they are still there. As her silky voice and analog piano wind around each other, a minimal hip-hop beat drives the song forward, while the lyrics tell an all-too-familiar story of the dangers it brings, hatred and anger us and desire forwards drifting, if not yet the ability to let everything go.
The video for “Deep” is simple but blatant and follows a pohto with a bare face as she wrestles with her dark and light spots, which are portrayed as real black and white clothing. The battle between flow and strength, yin and yang, plays out on the screen as the song tells the story of this battle that we all know too well.
“Closure” was released shortly after “Deep” in December and has even more surprises. With a beautiful accompaniment of Pohto’s flawless piano playing and the kantele, a stringed instrument that is the national instrument of Finland, the singer expands her vocal range as if stretching to achieve the desired conclusion. Together with the ambient sound design and the barely audible synthesizers, the effect of this song is really goosebumps-inducing.
A lyric video for “Closure” was released this week, which is structured like a text conversation between two ex-lovers. The texts are written as pending messages as the two have a much more cordial conversation. It’s an incredibly creative way of making a lyric video, and the way the lyrics are done makes it just as interesting as a more eye-catching video. The struggle Pohto goes through between wanting to tell her true feelings and the instinct not to frill feathers is played out in black and white, in all its uncomfortable and painful glory. It’s just as visceral and relatable as any big budget artistic video.
So suffice it to say whether or not you love Anni Potho’s earlier stuff with more electronics built in, this album will be a good one. If the raw creativity of these two tracks has anything to offer, Pohto will more than satisfy their current fans and likely attract many new ones along the way.
“Deep” and “Closure” can be streamed on Spotify along with the rest of Pohto’s discography. You can find more videos on her YouTube channel.