“They tell you art heals your soul, but they don’t tell you, you will feel all the old feelings ten fold.” Music- one of the truest arts of self-expression to set an individual free, comes into the world in a variety of packages. Butter, the debut EP of Baltimore female rapper Anna Notte, clearly depicts this self-expression of freedom, and paints the messy perception of an adult facing their childhood demons, through lyrics and a dark tone. Helping curate the story for the 7 track EP, Drew Scott lends his production skills to deliver moody beats, and experimental-industrial audible “designs,” as a foundation for the venting of Notte’s satirical voice.
Starting off by placing all the cards on the table, the self-titled track “BUTTER,” begins with honesty as Notte addresses her “manic” episodes associated with being bipolar. Lyrics then paint the story of a Notte taking pills and recollecting her thoughts, in an almost out-of-body perspective. Musically, the slow guitar riff that begins this track is addicting and pars perfect to truly pay attention of Notte’s flow and blunt honesty: “it’s an instinct to metaphorically genuflect to the subject of your romantic interest for respect / but / if only when their dick is erect then it seems you might have found yourself emotionally disconnected.”
“GREENER Feat. Eze Jackson & Drew Scott” is another standout track on the EP. Jackson and Scott’s voice add a natural flow to the halting structure of Notte’s own voice. Pills are mentioned once more, and clues of a troubled childhood resurface. Despite the honesty that is felt in every track by Notte, there are still restraints within her flow that are held back; this rawness anticipates for future releases to experience Notte fine tune her own voice.
Yet the one element that Notte captures without effort, and the reason this is worth the listen, is her gift of translating emotion. Be it by her tone, raised pitches, or beautiful sadistic lines sprinkled with truth, Notte is as honest as they come. One of the best emotional productions are heard on the track “UNBEINGDEAD.” The track’s intro hooks you instantly, and the story following the theme of death and time leads to mutual respect and understanding of Notte.
Butter- 6 months of work to release a life-time of memories- can only be described as a trip inside the hidden corners of Notte’s mind. Other self-reflective tracks such as “ECLIPSE,” and “I’M NOT HOME, COME IN,” disturbingly shows the demons Notte has dealt with since their existence. As a listener, respect is shown for Nottee and her therapeutic delivery, through honest and free expressive stories for listeners to absorb. Time will pass, and Notte’s flow will become sharper, but her emotion and vocal improv felt on Butter will always be there.
Stream the whole EP here