A L B U M R E V I E W
‘You Do Not Do’ by Anecdata
Anecdata has returned with a second album this year, following on from the American politics themed ‘But Her Emails’ in June. This album takes Anecdata back to more familiar ground, with a greater focus on conspiracy theories and theorists.
Overall, ‘You Do Not Do’ provides another collection of ‘80s influenced accessible synth-driven pop songs. But for me, Anecdata releases are for a large part less about the music as the lyrics; there is always something interesting to learn or think about, once the songs are deciphered. An early album highlight is ‘Elisa Lam’, based on a person who went missing in 2013, and was later discovered in the water tank of her hotel, which guests had been consuming; video footage became available of her unusual behaviour from the time she went missing, all of which led to conspiracy theories concerning her death. Musically, this song has that paranormal vibe; think the themes to Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World or The X-Files, mixed with Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. This is one of those songs where the music and lyrics combine perfectly, making it one of the strongest tracks on the album.
Another highlight is ‘Anti-Faxxers’, with its poppy accessibility, and focus on the delusions of the anti-vaccination movement. Among the lyrics that resonate with me the most are “put trust in statisticians, and ditch your superstition”, while the song finishes with a more direct message: “you're killing the children, you're fucking the future, you belong in jail, you're Cain to the Abel”. It is difficult not to compare this song with Phoenix Foundation’s ‘Supernatural’, about people who buy into conspiracies like chemtrails, and more directly to locals Ghost of Electricity’s ‘When I Was Young’; “When I was young we didn’t need to be immunised, we cured polio the natural way, which was to die; become disabled”.
Other songs on this album are more cryptic, and I haven’t quite worked them out yet. ‘Dollar Dollar (Get the Message)’ appears to be about the attitudes of right wingers, in line with Anecdata’s previous political themed outputs. However, others will take me more time to decode. Besides the songs above, another notable mention goes to ‘I Singled Out Your Heart’, which is a great little pop song in its own right.
Find 'You Do Not Do' on:
* Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/5avmzEZ4vcLGUF4vGxIajG
* Bandcamp: https://anecdata.bandcamp.com/album/you-do-not-do
- Ian Duggan