Album of the month: Athena by Sudan Archives

Eva Mackevic

This month we're obsessed with the rambunctious debut album from the violinist and singer, Sudan Archives 

It may be Brittney Denise Parks’ (aka Sudan Archives) debut album, but she’s hardly a newcomer, having made a splash with her two previous EPs, Sudan Archives and Sink, setting high expectations for her debut album. It’s safe to say she meets—and exceeds them with effortless panache.

The idea of duality is at the heart of Athena both musically and thematically. Parks tells her story through raw, sincere lyrics that reveal her as both a determined fighter as well as a vulnerable human being who’s experienced her fair share of heartache.

Musically, the album is a refreshing revelation in its unique and sophisticated approach to R&B. Parks, who is a self-taught violinist, peppers this traditionally smoky, sensual genre with ferocious strings that cut through the lush, bass-saturated textures like acid. The resulting sound reveals an ambivalent, multi-layered portrait of the artist as she seamlessly moves between ostentatious abrasiveness and all-consuming fear from song to song.

Sudan Archives is destined for big things, so be sure to give Athena a spin to establish yourself as an original fan.

Key tracks: “Did You Know?”, “Confessions”, “Black Vivaldi Sonata”