The Cry Baby‘s – alter ego of North London’s Anna Waldmann- jarring child-like, assuage, vocals coax the listener into some dark and disturbing places, informed by her own experiences as a full-time carer for both her mum and gran. A responsibility that left Waldmann with no choice but to forego her childhood as she tendered to the needs of others.
Well-versed and trained on the piano and violin, with a taste for both the classical giants, Chopin and Bach, and for contemporary artist’s such as Bjork, it’s Waldmann’s fervent for 90s Trip Hop that is endorsed so well on this single. Hooking-up with the experienced sound engineer, Dave Pemberton (The Prodigy and Groove Armada) and caustic beat manipulator DJ Yoof, The Cry Baby sound is a strange semi-classical tribune to those times.
Antibodies Eastern European electronic pomp and industrial-steaming tones weave between the innocent and coquettish; Waldmann cooing both fear and longing; “And I need to somebody to look after me/When the men in white coats, they come looking for me”. There’s also references to allegorical blood letting and warnings against, “Acting like God”, which pitches this dark-lit Gothic slice of pop as a perfect skulking paean for the Underworld films.
Meanwhile, Funeral, is in many ways more interesting with its vapourous, hollowed, echo warped beats and frazzled grimy-rough synth-crushing chorus. This electro elegy ripples and pulsates in a raspy veil of 80s dry-ice evoking melodrama – Waldmann’s parting shot, “So please be late, for your funeral today”, summing up the songs sentiment perfectly.
Applauded as a unique take on the Trip Hop sound, and compared to the alluded Bjork as well as Portishead, The Cry Baby is perhaps a little too backward in going forward, and though well-produced and played-out, it lacks originality and depth; falling way short of its influences.