Annie Dressner “I Thought It Would Be Easier”

Dharma Records, 2024

New sounds for old emotions.

Annie Dressner 'I Thought It Would Be Easier' cover artOriginally from New York City, but now settled in Cambridge (the UK one), Annie Dressner is a singer-songwriter of rare subtlety, and ‘I Thought It Would Be Easier’ is her fourth solo album. Whether strumming or picking her electric guitar, a soundscape is created that perfectly frames her thoughtful, wistful, and empathic lyrical stories. ‘…Easier’ could be described as an indie Americana record; for those old enough to remember, the sound seems to echo down from the jangly, open-hearted sounds of the bands on the Sarah record label in the late ‘80’s, or the likes of Belle and Sebastian a decade later. 

Dressner’s lyrics will attract many admirers among those for whom it is a strength to acknowledge the hardships of just getting by; indeed, she herself says “Perhaps (people who) have gone through similar things … (will)  feel heard and comforted by the songs”.  Musically, her guitar and lilting, sighing vocal style are supported by the lightest of touches – a churchy organ and spectral, raindrop-like notes on ‘I Just Realised’, a fragile cello line that joins halfway through ‘Leather Chair’.

The catchy ‘Dance We Do’ and beautifully uplifting ‘Black and White’ were among the lead off tracks for the record, and along with ‘18 Years’ and ‘Lofted Houses’ are among the more poppy moments on the record.  However, perhaps the deepest delights come with the likes of the aforementioned ’Leather Chair’, and particularly the extremely delicate ‘After the Storm’, in which tentative guitar patterns perfectly capture the fragility of survival, and the first stumbling steps towards the future. 

This is a really lovely record, and one which will speak volumes to the most sensitive souls out there. If that’s you, dive right in – a safe and beautifully decorated sanctuary awaits you.


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