Album Review: Sleepy Hungry

Bonzai’s genreless sound has earned her comparisons to FKA Twigs and Grimes. Last year, two of her tracks, ‘Doses’ and ‘Nikka’, were featured on Annie Mac’s Hottest Record in the World, and now Bonzai has released her debut EP. Sleepy Hungry sees her combining and crossing over different influences, in a similar way to Kendrick Lamar, M.I.A, or even Beyoncé.

The opening track, ‘Daniel Gets It Wrong’, sees distorted vocals clipped and looped over a relentless bassline, while the closing track, ‘Where Are U Now’ is the opposite: instead, it focuses on Bonzai’s vocal delivery. In ‘No Rest’ Bonzai sings soulful verses that seem completely at odds with the restless instrumentation and in ‘Kassi’, she delivers R&B style vocals over a syncopated, thumping bassline. The EP’s production is top-quality. It is particularly impressive how Bonzai balances her voice so that her lyrics are never overshadowed. Rather than competing with them, the vocals fit above the fractured beats.

Sleepy Hungry is an achievement, especially given that Bonzai is so young. Within a three-month writing period, Bonzai has managed to produce an EP of a standard that other artists spend years (and even careers) working for.