Bow Anderson has today premiered second single ‘Island’, which is available now on EMI Records. This follows recent track ‘Heavy’ (and its inventive, socially-distanced video shot near Bow’s house in Scotland) and viral debut single ‘Sweater’: released just as the world went into lockdown, it has since surpassed 5.5 million plays, picked up support across Radio 1 and by Elton John on Beats 1, as well as going top 20 on Spotify’s Viral Charts.
‘Island’ confirms Bow Anderson’s potential as one of UK pop’s most refreshing young voices. Combining a lifelong love of early-Rihanna with classic, Spector-sized 60s soul, it’s a rawly empowered anthem about women standing up for themselves, and not taking anymore nonsense. “Island is about empowerment,” says Bow. “After being messed over countless times in relationships, it’s that moment when you’re finally over someone and how good that feels. ‘Island’ is about knowing your worth and knowing you deserve the best, because you’re a ‘diamond’.”
With its synchronised swimmers, DIY dance routines and seaside setting of Margate, the video to ‘Island’ sees Bow Anderson take this story into playful new territory: a narrative she started on the reclaimed heartache of ‘Sweater’ (about losing your ex, but keeping his clothes) and continued on ‘Heavy’ (which captures the attempt to get over him by accidentally getting drunk in the park). The ‘Island’ video, says Bow, “is full of fun and sass. I hadn’t danced since I was 17 so I was fairly nervous; shooting during a pandemic was strange…but very organised. There’s a shot where I’m looking into a mirror in a swimming costume but on the bottom half I wrapped myself in joggers and towels, as it was so cold; living the glamorous life! The ‘Island’ video overall is about having fun, being strong and showing you don’t need a man to feel good.”
A distinctive new artist (and fearless young woman), Bow Anderson was born and bred on the east side of Edinburgh. As a teenager Bow took part in competitive trampolining, training with people who went on to be part of Team GB before a freak accident put a halt to her competing at the National Championships (“I almost lost my leg,” she shrugs today). But as the body she had bet her future on proved fallible, Bow found her voice. During her rehabilitation, Anderson’s father would sing with her each night to help her get to sleep, which led to Bow moving to London after her recovery to hustle making music. Today, Bow’s songs appear as inspired by the work ethic and bombast of classic Soul as they are the attitude and production of modern R&B; cut through with frank, warts-and-all lyrics, which turn adversity (whether romantic, physical, or emotional) into a source of strength.
A self-proclaimed ‘Island’, in an extreme time for new artists Bow Anderson nonetheless firmly stands out. Sporting careers and young love might end, and a pandemic might not be the ideal setting for a comeback: but like any genuine competitors, Bow Anderson appears to take life in its stride (and turn it all into pop gold).