Since releasing her debut album Strangers Who Knew Each Other's Names in 2011, Annie Dresser has been touring and putting together a four track EP called East Twenties, which will be released this coming April. On January 25th, Dressner performed at The Cookie Jar in Leicester on a night where she played eight songs including three from her upcoming EP East Twenties and a cover of Elliot Smith's "Between the Bars". I talked to Dressner about her debut album, her upcoming EP and her influences.
Music Review Database: Why did you move to England?
Annie Dressner: For love, that's all I’ll say!
When was that?
A year and a half ago.
Do you miss New York, do you go back?
Yeah, I went in the fall and I'm going to go back in the spring. So I’m trying to go back a couple times a year for a couple of weeks.
I presume that's what made the album?
It's based around love and nice relationships and failed relationships.
When did you start writing songs for this album?
It was put out in the summer of 2011, and all of the songs were written within 12 months, some in 2010 and some in 2011.
East Twenties is coming out April 8th, why did you decide to release an EP instead of another album?
Part of me wanted to put something out because it's been a little while. It was going to be six songs but I thought the four that are on it fit better.
What's the story behind "Flame"?
I went to France on a school trip, and I had a beer for the first time. It’s kind of like a coming of age and kind of about the boy I dated when I was 15.
Did you take a different approach to writing East Twenties?
The only thing I’ve tried to do a little bit differently is to try to write in a slightly broader way than I have before, although they're all still really personal.
Other than Elliot Smith who you mentioned earlier (during her show), who inspires you?
I listen to a lot of Simon & Garfunkel, Carly Simon and James Taylor. My favourite band is Belle & Sebastian, which I don't think is really evident in my stuff.
Who would you put in your backing band, dead or alive?
I'll take Paul Simon, Art can come too. Justin Aaronson, he's my drummer at home. My friend Theresa Hoffmann, her voice is on the album and her voice is super good. My friend Steph Allen sang on "With You".
Who produced Strangers Who Knew Each Other's Names?
Anthony Rizzo. He's a friend of mine from New York, he's really good. We recorded a lot of it in his apartment, and then we recorded the drums and the bass in a recording studio in Brooklyn.
What was [playing at] the Cambridge folk festival like?
It was fun, it was really wet.