Maybe I look at things to simplistically, and I do appreciate that everyone’s tastes are different, but at times I am still surprised that some music is not bigger than it is, artists not receiving more recognition etc . This is particularly true of those artists who have a main stream sensibility but add a little twist to what they do, a little edge that makes their work a bit more interesting. Obviously I have someone in mind when I am writing this and that person is Anni Rossi.
Anni Rossi is a classically trained musician (keyboards and viola) from Minessota. Her early output in the UK was via the classic 4ad label, her first being the Afton EP which she released in 2006. Following this she worked with renowned artist and producer Steve Albini (As an artist: Big Black, Shellac. Producer: Pixies, Nirvana, Low, PJ Harvey, Slint) on her first album ‘Rockwell’ in 2009. This is when I first got in to her stuff. I loved the simple, stripped back but edgy nature of Rockwell and the sometimes testing song structures and vocal work. Apparently it was recorded in a day: when you listen to the consistency of sound on the album, this is very believable – it gets into a groove/sound that stays throughout the tracks.
Following this release she split from 4ad and in 2010 she completed her follow up album ‘Heavy Meadow’. This release slipped under my radar for a bit (I think it was released in the UK in 2011) and I picked it up late last year. Like Rockwell it is very consistent in terms of sound, instrumentation etc, but it is a definite move on. The sound is more electronic, the R&B influences more flushed out, her vocals a touch toned down yet still multitracked and the pop sensibilities and slightly off timings/song structures from Rockwell are still present. Prior to the album release she set her stall out as to how it may sound via a cover version of the Aaliyah track ‘Are You That Somebdy’ which is worth tracking down. It is a really lush sounding album: I love the up tempo pop of ‘Candyland’, ‘Crushing Limbs’ and ‘Safety of Objects’ the more straight ahead alternative style tracks such as the tremendous ‘Land Majestic’ and the slower tempo, R&B type of songs such as ‘Hatchet’. The track I have gone for is in the latter mould – ‘Sandstorm’
It’s a great track. I love the combination of the steady pace, her lush multitracked vocals and the layers of synths and keyboards that build through the song. It’s got a bit of an 80s soul quality to it which I really like it but doesn’t go too far down that route. The album is really great stuff – have a listen for yourself to Sandstorm and if you like it make sure you pick up the album (it is pretty easy to source on download – check out 3 Syllables Records). Then spread the word.
Playlist:Tuesday 17th April 2012
So I have been away for a bit hence Aapie contributing all the posts, but now I am back off holiday..er..woo hoo…I don’t think. Still I get to start posting again which is good. A few days back now and it is no easier to haul myself out of bed. Today was made even worse by the fact that I had to head down to London, that the weather was utter, utter crap, it was cold and I had work to do on the train. The urgency of work fried my brain and I didn’t even turn my music on till I got close to London. So to finish the journey, and then commute across town, I listened to the Anni Rossi album in its entirety. Sat on the tube and immersed myself in the lush sound of the album. Before I knew it I was at work..hmmm
Playlist: Anni Rossi – Heavy Meadow (Album)