Little is known about Grand Pax, the project headed by 24-year-old North London-based singer Annie Pax, whose air of mystery mirrors the melancholic etherealism of Phase. Nevertheless, Pax’s EP demonstrates maturity both in the songwriting and music production, an unsurprising element considering it features the help of producer Josh Crocker, who has previously collaborated with the likes of current musical pioneers Kali Uchis and Rejjie Snow.
Despite only being four tracks long, Phase demonstrates a breadth of emotion and atmospheric auditory worlds, all of which is underlined by a subtle yet intensely dream-like reverb. The opening eponymous track, ‘Phase’ conveys Pax’s voice with peace yet full of vulnerability, crossing the delicacy of the vocals with forceful yet nuanced beats. ‘Valleys’ underpinned by this same dreamy existence, takes a more seductive route, the vocals at times sounding more statically spoken with more ambiguous melodies.
‘Destroyer’, by far the EP’s most harrowing track, uses a haunting ostinato melodic layered under Pax’s main vocals, focusing on the higher register of her vocal range, which despite its hoarse nervousness is still well- controlled. The EP’s final (and arguably the most optimistic) track ‘Comet’ provides the perfect closing. The most poignant line in the song sees Pax’s most powerful use of her vocals, belting ‘maybe I know too much to get down’, which perhaps can be interpreted as a fight against defeat. All in all, this EP does much for the sonic imagination, and will likely only gain Grand Pax increased merit.
‘Phase’ is out now via Blue Flowers. Listen below: