This self titled debut ‘mini album’ (6-tracks) is an interesting exercise in genre-defiant songwriting. Auckland musician Henika trained as a jazz musician but with influences from Bjork to Bowie her album is hard to describe stylistically. The River opens with a church organ hum alongside Henika’s very clear, haunting and strong vocals (also adding to the religious feel of the track). Other parts creep into the mix, distorted guitar and drums coming in and out. Henika clearly has a taste for ambient music and a confidence in arrangement. Certain sounds will appear and disappear with unclear origins, and the layering of instruments is often deep and complex. Andrew Buckton recorded, mixed and produced this album and aesthetically Henika is reminiscent of other polished projects he’s worked on such as Midnight Youth’s epic rock sound explored on their 2009 ‘The Brave Don’t Run’ album. Despite its unusual nature, ‘Henika’ is a fairly straightforward listen. If you’re into alternative folk rock with an ambient twist you’ll likely enjoy it.