Review: Petite Noir – The King of Anxiety


With the way that The King of Anxiety sounds, it’s easy to see why Pitchfork falls in love with each release Petite Noir ships out. Hailing from South Africa, Yannick Ilunga trudges through the mire of indie-soaked forgery to reach a new level of five-track success. The King of Anxiety flourishes in reverb, making sure to coat each “ooh” and “aah” like it were a vanilla Belgian truffle.

“Chess” is the standout track, imploring humor, compassion, and the right amount of snug guitar work to keep all In Rainbows fans in check until summer comes around. He plays the pronoun game, but well enough to know when to limit his words from saying too much and letting the music move each player for the better. The second the tune starts, you’re hooked in for the long run.

“Come Inside” is another good one, bursting with sixties-slick riffs and a counterfeit mellow that strips away whatever sign of anxiety we’re supposed to be praising to begin with. The way that Petite Noir is able to mix sadness with sweetness is individual, containing subtly-encrypted emotion that longs for a chance to take the light away before Yannick’s mouth speaks up too soon.

Passing on this one is a big no-no, even if there is little diversity in the amount of experimentation brought forward. Ilunga has a vision, without a doubt, but he lets his own creativity bounce around and around the same ideals of sonic totality, never freeing the warm and interstellar possibilities of the love and loss he squabbles about for the collection of tunes he assembled together. Maybe that’s why he’s so nervous? After all, how do you follow-up a work that claims you’re a king?

By: Harrison Giza (@BlueHarvestBeat)


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