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Annie Dressner - East Twenties (EP Review)

Tuesday, 02 April 2013 Written by David Ball
Annie Dressner - East Twenties (EP Review)

Following on from her full debut release ‘Strangers Who Knew Each Other’s Names’, which was positively reviewed by everyone including Stereoboard (here), Annie Dressner will launch her follow up EP ‘East Twenties’ in early April. Named after the neighbourhood she called home in New York before moving to the UK, ‘East Twenties’ contains just 4 tracks and barely makes it past 12 minutes but the quality more than makes up for the brevity.

ImageAs on ‘Strangers Who Knew Each Other's Names’ there’s a strong personal element throughout, even down to the album artwork which is a sketch of a clown drawn by Dressner herself while just 2 years old. Lyrical content is also similar, with strong themes of love and loss all delivered in Dressner’s crisp, welcoming vocals which make everything sound familiar from the very first listen.

When reviewing the album I mentioned it lacked anything likely to be noticed by mainstream radio but that’s corrected here with opening track ‘Heartbreaker’. As perfect a pop song as you like, it’s 3 and a half minutes of chirpy acoustic guitar shimmering over the top of a lyric which sounds straight out of a diary entry.

‘I Can’t Forget’ strips the instrumentation right back and sounds like a companion piece to ‘How Am I Supposed To Be Now?’ dealing with the death of someone close. It's gently plucked acoustic keeps Dressners vocal as the focus of the song, her pain evident while the gentle cello which appears in the second verse adds a suitably melancholic base.

‘Flame’ picks the pace back up, the double tracked chorus providing extra depth as does the appearance of a melodica to provide something new to the sounds. Final track ‘Lost In A Car’ brings together all of the best things about the EP, Dan Wilde’s backing vocals offering an extra layer and colour to the vocals. It’s another example of Dressner’s lyrics telling a story in a way that feels as if she’s whispering her secrets right to you.

As with ‘Strangers Who Knew Each Other’s Names’, this is an excellently produced piece of work and is very well written. I wrote in my review of that album I felt there was more to come and ‘East Twenties’ provides that. There may only be 4 songs here but they’re all of very high quality, my only criticism is I wish there was more of it - which can’t be a bad thing.

‘East Twenties’ was funded through PledgeMusic, a crowd funding scheme as is becoming more and more popular. While the EP is now fully funded you can still pledge to get some of the extras which range from handmade lyric books to a golden ticket allowing access to every live show for the next 10 years. Head over to her page if you’re interested. 10% of all money raised will be donated to V-Day, an organisation set up to raise awareness about violence towards women.

‘East Twenties’ is released on 8th April 2013 and Annie will have an album launch show at The Slaughtered Lamb, London on April 9th, tickets are £6.

Annie Dressner’s tour schedule can be at www.anniedressner.com/tour. Listen to ‘Heartbreaker’ below.


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