Amongst the millions of souls wandering the streets of New York City, Anana Kaye and Irakli Gabriel somehow managed to find one another to create a mesmerizing duo that not only creates stunning music, but also visual art for fellow musicians and artists. Their influences are wildly diverse (Anana originally comes from the Republic of Georgia, Irakli has been a NYC staple for the past decade) which might explain why their new single for “Ain’t Dead Yet” strikes so many visceral notes with listeners of every persuasion.
Their new EP, Sentient, is a brilliant showcase of Anana’s soulful, husky voice and heartfelt delivery matched up Irakli’s left-of-center approach to the guitar. “Ain’t Dead Yet” seeps into the eyes and ears with a slow, deliberate penetration. With the kick drum, bass and piano pulsing on every downbeat, Irakli’s guitar, lyrics by Freddie Stevenson and Mike Scott and Anana’s voice are able to snake their melodies in and out like an anaconda. It invokes the spirit of classic rock songs like Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” but sprinkled with a dash of Jack White and Alabama Shakes to bring it into 2016.
For the self-directed “Ain’t Dead Yet” video, Kaye and Gabriel reached back to the earliest days of motion pictures for inspiration. Like the silent films of the turn of the century, shaky, vintage black and white footage of elaborate, handcrafted landscapes and bizarre costumes dart across the screen to create a variety of ominous narratives. Anana locks in with the camera dressed as a mysterious fortune teller behind the table, sneaking in the only color of the entire video by her side. All in all, it’s a brilliantly executed clip finding inspiration from a bygone era.