Angel-Ho Woman Call Angel-Ho
In Angel-Ho’s world, rebirth is a periodic process. Each release begins a new chapter for the South African artist and NON-affiliate. Her 2019 debut album, Death Becomes Her, was a rallying cry for the dismantling of gender binaries, hoisted up by staccato electronics and her own vocals. Her latest offering Woman Call, however, centres introspection.
On the self-released eight-track album, shifting basslines shadow hard-edged saxophone solos as each track idles between pop, hip-hop, house, rock and jazz. Assertive vocals survey themes of love and fame, burrowing further inward to anatomise the artist’s experience and emancipation as a trans woman. If precursor Death Becomes Her was Angel-Ho’s opportunity to establish her voice as the woman she is, rather than the woman others saw the potential for her to become, Woman Call summons others to do the same.
She makes this explicit by abandoning the avant-garde to focus on a more lyrical narrative, bypassing her usual experimental club sound in favour of more nostalgic sounds reminiscent of runway soundtracks and indie-electro triumphs. Opening track Fame overtly acknowledges Angel-Ho’s Lady Gaga influence – the camera flash SFX, the high-gloss approach to synth and electropop that feels distinctly 2008. On Rewind, a hybrid of moody trip-hop and alternative rock echoes early releases from Björk and Massive Attack.
Tough Love sees Angel-Ho standing resilient, reciting “no pain, no gain/ I like it tough” over boisterous drums and a jubilant electric guitar passage. Death Becomes Her was Angel-Ho’s first venture into singing and rapping, but Woman Call sees her truly find her voice.