Pop music is taking a turn towards the abstract in the late 2010s, and there aren’t many new singles out this summer that embody the trend better than 2.O.F.’s sensibly odd “Darling Anna” and its parent EP, The Machine. “Darling Anna” is, essentially, an exercise in surreal pop poetry flanked with an R&B-inspired groove, and though it features a modern sway that has become all too familiar in the last two years, it isn’t the least bit unoriginal. 2.O.F. discharge a thought-provoking, audiologically rousing debut here, and while it might not be a life-changing release for most of us, it’s definitely a step away from the mundane status quo, to put it mildly.

There’s not a lot of adrenaline in this song, but that doesn’t really matter – “Darling Anna” places emotion at the forefront of its narrative, and leaves virtuosity and the overindulgences of an incompetent alternative pop stylization on the sidelines. This piece isn’t steeped in the sort of physicality that you would find in the similarly surreal works of Tim J Grant, Noiire or Hazey Eyes, but there is definitely some muscularity where it counts the most – the master mix. 2.O.F. mixed “Darling Anna” tightly, and even though it’s produced with a streamlined sound, the bottom-end of this song has plenty of punch to make up for any missing gusto in the melodic synthesized parts.

This is a balanced single production-wise, and best of all, it doesn’t waste our time with any trite bells and whistles that would have made the track sound plain and unexciting. The relationship between the bass and the drums isn’t nearly as affective as the sheer passion that we hear in the vocal harmonies, which, as I see it, tell us a story within a story in this song. Where the words are coming up short in describing our singer’s feelings, his voice is channeling his emotions through the melody that it emits.

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Darling-Anna/dp/B07MFCCDL9

As previously noted, the master mix is one of the best components in “Darling Anna,” and its multilayered structure ironically reflects the nature of the verses rather luminously. Every ordinary statement made in this track has a poetic cliffhanger for a counterpart, which leaves listeners left to decide what ultimately happens to our unnamed protagonist in his quest to win Anna’s commitment and unconditional love. The harmonies follow suit in cutting us with minor key daggers before suddenly unleashing an uplifting, purgative chorus soon after, with all of the tension coming undone in a sweeping, unapologetically sweet melody at the finish line.

If you’re craving some erudite indie pop with an intellectual edge, danceable grooves and a honey-like vocal that is sure to warm even the coldest of hearts this summer, then you need to hear 2.O.F.’s “Darling Anna” for yourself. Tim Milliken raises the bar for both his collaborative project’s forthcoming releases as well as the UK scene that he has made his own with 2.O.F.’s debut EP The Machine, and whether you’re a lifelong pop fanatic or are just now getting into the thrilling sounds of the new-look genre in 2019, it’s a record that you would be wise to add to your collection.

Sebastian Cole

The music of 2.O.F. has been heard all over the world due to the promotional services offered by Danie Cortese Entertainment & Publicity. Learn more here – http://www.daniecorteseent.com/