Photo credit: Chantal Anderson
It is a common (and annoying) trait of music writers (that is loosely used for me) to compare new artists to more established artists. I do it because a) I’m usually short on time and b) I’m a medicore writer at best. That being said, one name I rarely see when using comparisons is Neko Case. I think it comes down to Neko being a true unique voice and personality in the world of music. So I don’t say this lightly when I say that upon spinning If Only There Was a River, I was immediately reminded of Neko’s music.
Produced by Kevin Morby and Justin Thomas (King Tuff), Anna’s debut LP is an absolute gem. The music is born from folk/twang but with help from Justin Sullivan (Night Shop) on drums and multi-instrumentalist Oliver Hill (Pavo Pavo), she is able to flesh these tracks out to put her own stamp on the genre. The Bells has a foreboding nature to it, making it seem like it would be a natural fit for something like True Detective or a dark Coen Brothers movie. Hello, on the back half of the LP has some wonderful fiddle playing evoking an Appalachia feel to the track. On The Wind, you can see the influence of St. Louis playing in Morby’s band shine through.
All in all, count me in as a fan. This is one heckuva a debut and I’m looking forward to seeing her live.
Anna St. Louis is here