Anda Zeng
Night Dress
Self Released
Toronto, ON
RIYL: Grouper; Teen Daze; a weighted blanket

The tranquility of sleep has been greatly exaggerated. Falling asleep has always been difficult for me. I first have to obsess over every single detail of the day, then worry about the next day and my purpose in life and then, maybe, I will fall asleep.

Anda Zeng’s Night Dress mirrors my anxious evening routine but she brilliantly disguises her songs with tranquil tones. Zeng softly plays the piano and the harp methodically as her hushed voice rolls through these relaxed sounds like a fluffy cloud moves across the sky. Night Dress is a beautiful sounding EP.

But under the covers, Zeng is far from placid, and she sings of loneliness and doubts. “Night falls heavy on me,” she admits on “Far Off, Night Falls.” On “Fever Dreamer,” she begs, “sleep right through this life for me.” Her words are abstract and hectic, like those panicked thoughts that fill my mind just as I am about to fall asleep. It is all best summarized on the closing track “Newborn,” a blissful and moody two minute power-nap, when Zeng sings, “I’ve been restless, dreaming of a perfect calm.”

Laura Stanley