Back in the summer of 2004, I remember going through some promo cds and seeing huge numbers of discs from someone called Annie. I listened to the song (Chewing Gum), thought it was pretty crap, and thought little of it again. A couple of months later, at our Oaklands housewarming Laurie alerted me to a video playing in silence on our TV which turned out to be Chewing Gum. He thought it was ace (afaik) and I have vague memories of him going on about her giving Kylie the finger with the video, whereas I muttered about it being toss. ERROR.
Then, I don’t know when it was, or how, but suddenly Annie, Chewing Gum, the whole caboodle just clicked. This was awesome pop! Anniemal, the album, had been withdrawn for a future re-release, but I managed to get a copy left over somewhere probably in about January 2005 and was very impressed by it. Full of light electro-pop songs, Annie had a cute, thin voice and the songs were full of squelchy little noises that make it exciting. Me Plus One, Anniemal and My Heartbeat shone and alongside Chewing Gum were firm favourites on the Miss-Shapes dancefloor (in fact the first time I heard My Heartbeat outside my stereo was on the dancefloor at Misshapes which made my jetlag compeletely disappear). Of course, being brilliant pop, the album and singles sank miserably and only the bloggers were digging it.
Then disaster struck when Annie supported St Etienne in concert at Koko during July 2005 when she was just plain awful! Her voice sounded rubbish, she seemed bored, and there was absolutely no pop star spark. We went away rather sadly, and it was sometime before we really enjoyed Anniemal again.
But what is the point, you may be wondering, for this long post about a pop star everyone was raving about 2 years ago. The point is that this weekend, The Crush, the lead single from her new album made it’s way into my ears. It’s different, I’ll give it that. Completely different to anything I’ve ever heard Annie do. In fact, if I heard this in a club I’d probably race to Shazam it and would have no idea who it was. For a start, there’s a guitar 😮 and lots of drums. This is Annie singing with a proper band (or maybe a nice band machine), this is Annie being a female frontwoman, in fact, imagine Annie fronting the White Stripes first album and you’re not far off it.
It’s quickly become my most played Annie track though, and I’ve no doubt I’ll play it lots and people will dance. As James said, this sounds like a woman who isn’t letting a label or a producer dictate her work – she’s just gone off and made what she wants to. Rumour has it, more Anniemaly remixes have been made, so we’ll wait to hear those. Could this be the one to turn the general publics head?