Before her musical career, Anika split her time between Berlin and Bristol as a political journalist and music promotor. A meeting with Portishead's Geoff Barrow led to a collaboration with his other band Beak>. They recorded an album in 12 days and released in 2010 which consisted of re-imaginings of '60s songs, concocted with their mutual love of dub, punk and electronic music, including Ray Davies' 'I Go To Sleep' and Yoko Ono's 'Yang Yang' as well a new compositions. A subsequent EP in 2013 later featured a throbbing and haunting rendition of The Crystals' 'He Hit Me'.

In preparation for a tour in Mexico she formed a band to bring her songs to a live setting. What she didn't anticipate was that her intended live band would become a new band entirely: Exploded View. A rare bond was found between Anika, Martin Thulin, Hugo Quezada and Amon Melgarejo in which they immediately began jamming and writing music together. The music that arose, contained on their newly released debut album, contains a restless energy that takes on a life of its own.

Anika has described the recording of the album as a "therapeutic process" in which she channeled the anxieties and fears that she'd harboured over recent years. With her distinguished vocals and penetrating and pulsating music arrangements, Exploded Views' debut is one of the leading genre-defying and thought-provoking records of 2016. Anika discusses the importance of working with the right people and how she's come to realise her power as an artist.

In some ways this band came together by accident in how you formed during rehearsals for your solo tour. Was there an instant intuition when the four of you met?

I really like working with people where I don't have to say anything - when you're just playing and unconsciously know how to relate to each other. The worst thing is when you're in a position that you have to explain to someone to play something another way. I don't think it's very creative and means you're not with the right people. With all of them, it was very easy - to happen with three other people is quite rare.

Is it like when you met a new partner or friend and you don't feel the need to make an impression?

Yeah, it's definitely a personal thing. When you're writing together it is like being in a relationship. When you're touring too, you have to put up with them and their bad moods. You need some weird chemistry somehow.

When you realized there was potential for a record to be made what did you talk about wanting it to be like?

We didn't intend on making a certain type of record. We had all the equipment set up for my solo stuff and we were waiting for the drummer, who was always late, so we just started playing different stuff. Somehow it worked. The guy whose studio we were using, who is also in the band, got his tape machine and decided to record it to see what we'd come up with. When we listened back and there were 14 songs there. We don't know how we managed it! I went back to Mexico to re-record them at a later stage and set-up the equipment better but it was too hard to recreate the originals that we started making new ones instead. We didn't set out to make a particular album or a post-punk album which it has been called. It's the sum of its parts. I don't really know what it is. It's definitely not the album I would've chosen to record but that's what makes it more genuine. I would never want to try and make something. It would take away any form of creativity.

Do you mean if you go in with an intention it may put a limit on what you could create?

Yeah and it becomes very contrived. A few people have said, "Oh it's trying to be this or trying to be that". It wasn't trying to be any genre. If anything, I thought it'd be shit! I can't speak for the boys but I was going through a tough time during it. The record has a passive aggressive energy, it's like a psychological unwinding, tapping into my unconscious fears and frustrations.

Within the band do you feel you can express something different to your own work?

It was liberating working with them because I've had a lot of issues in life generally over the last six years. Music is the best way to release anxieties or things I can't express in everyday life. They helped me with that and I helped them.

The songs seems to look both inward and outward. Do you see music as an opportunity to question the world around us?

Since I was writing lyrics on the spot, a lot of it is tapping into my own fears. When I write with people, the right people, I can shout off my brain for the first time. My brain is in overdrive every day and I try to shut it off but music is the only way to release it. All of the songs are about all the stuff I'm afraid of or that I'm questioning. Making this record I got over a lot of my shit that was clogged in my unconscious that I didn't even realize. It was only when I listened back I could see what I was worried about or dealing with. Hopefully, through sharing it, other people can connect and get through it too. There's a lot of shit going on right now in the world and people are scared. One way of dealing with it is to ignore it but this record faces it and may help people accept that there are things in life that we won't understand. Music is a documentation of something - it doesn't need to be finite or be an answer, it's just trying to make sense of something.

Do you feel that things have become more extreme now or is that the media is just drawing more attention?

There are shifts going on but it doesn't come from nowhere. It comes from 20 or more years of people not saying anything and now it's all coming up. There's a lot of dangerous people who live feeling like there's nothing to lose and they're going crazy. I don't think it's more or less than in the past but it's a little worrying how the media and people are grouping victims and villains into categories because it's not as clear-cut as that, like when a guy who was bullied for years goes back to his high school and shoots everyone. It's more complex than that.

I agree - the way media frames these issues is from a place of understanding or an awareness that when people do bad things it generally comes from an underlying issue in their personal life.

One thing that does worry me is how the media are given so much free reign. I've been out of England for seven years and coming back recently I was so surprised at the standard of media. To name names, the BBC broadcast news, they're supposed to be a public service broadcaster. I was surprised at the complete sensualisation of news. You'd expect it from ITV that's funded through advertising but for something that's meant to be impartial it has gone way downhill. Even how governments have made deals with Murdoch to give him an extra part of the monopoly or take over the media. It's worrying how influential the media is right now. It's probably the government's mistake for not regulating it. It's also down to the public who are demanding bloodbath coverage. Everyone has to turn around and look at their own morals. We've been turning a blind-eye for a long time in general, like buying clothes in H&M or food produce, pretending we don't know where it comes from. People have been naïve for too long.

Regarding the song 'Orlando' on this album, has it become something the band are uncomfortable about in light of this year's tragedy?

Not really but it's definitely strange because the video was meant to be released the day after it happened. We wanted to remain respectful. The song itself questions who we are and what we are, if anything it makes it more relevant. Everyone is going through this period where they're asking "What's going on?".

When was the first time you realized that music could be a channel for anxiety?

When I worked with Beak>. By accident we recorded my first record and it was a relief to get all that anxiety out. I thought we would never release it. They then invited me to this cameo show with them at ATP. It was the first time being on stage and singing in front of a crowd. I was petrified. Somehow I pretended I was on my own and there was no one else there - it was the most liberating thing. It was the first time ever that I didn't feel anxious. It was addictive. Over six years you begin to realise your own power.

How do you feel you've grown since as an artist in those years?

I don't know really. You become more aware of the tool you have in your hands. I always wanted to be a documentary journalist because I love observing the world. I feel like I've used music to visit various parts of the world and get access to places I wouldn't have otherwise. The best thing about music is that you have a symbiotic relationship with people so you can view others but then you can give something back too. It's like ethical exploration. I think I've just grown generally as a person too.

Exploded View's debut album is out now on Sacred Bones.