Annie Dressner lets her emotions and the emotions of her listeners run wild on her heart-wrenching new EP East Twenties. It's been just short of a year since Dressner released her debut album Strangers Who Knew Each Other's Names. Now with a little help from her friends in Britain’s ever-extending folk scene and her worldwide knowledge of song-writing, Dressner can edge that bit closer to bigger venues and a wider audience. A successful pledge campaign gave Dressner the necessary financial needs to release East Twenties today, April 8th. It's been advertised through social networking, word of mouth and a relatively warm Winter UK tour.
The passing of 3,000 miles is no stranger to me. New York City's influence is felt on residents, tourists and admirers alike. Dressner's Atlantic crossing was for the same reason as mine, love. Though now a permanent resident, Dressner's voyage has now settled in the home of British folk, Cambridge. The love factor is one of the most covered and widely accepted to be the greatest of all contemporary music themes. Spoken from the heart, felt through the heart. East Twenties - the address of Dressner's New York location lends its name.
Paul Goodwin performs keyboard accompaniment on the first track "Heartbreaker". Dressner sings in the past tense, referencing a past love. The instrumentation builds as a vocal refrain swirls with respectable production qualities. She sings: “I saw you at the subway and you said that you were sorry for the things that you said to me," going on to confirm: "I want you to know that I forgive you." It's the emotional maturity and innocence shown by Dressner that fronts East Twenties. Followed and backed by "I Can't Forget", a mournful ode to a lost one. Bereavement is a theme that goes hand in hand with sadness, depression, but not love. It's deeper, passionate and Dressner shares her story for us. Turning back to Dressners live performance in Leicester earlier in the year where she covered Elliot Smith's "Between The Bars", sadness is a theme commonly found in her idols output, it's no surprise these songs are found in Dressner's repertoire. Note her favourite artist Belle & Sebastian.
"Flame" shares the same structure and style as the EP opener "Heartbroken". Dressner opens up about a past love, first taste of alcohol and a trip to France. She has a broad and imaginative style of song-writing, further pushing her abilities as an artist. Final track "Lost in a Car" completes the EP. It's hard to hold on to something that's no more, this is what Dressner attempts to do with "Lost in a Car", she honestly sings, with comedy: "Call you more times a day than a phone salesman."
East Twenties is a relaxing listen from start to finish. The production quality has improved and Dressner's song-writing goes along with it. Her debut album Strangers Who Knew Each Other's Names acts as the predecessor and influence for Dressner's EP. It comes at a strong moment in her career as a musician, and as a person. The more stories, observations and challenges Dressner makes for herself will prove greatly to her future. America has spurred Dressner's career, England is shaping it.