Annie Dressner and Polly Paulusma return to Hot Numbers to play some of their own original songs and to present their new collaborative project The Polyanna Band.
Since moving from her hometown of New York City to the UK two years ago, singer-songwriter Annie Dressner has received considerable recognition from her live shows, as well as both her debut album, "Strangers Who Knew Each Other's Names" (2011) and her latest EP "East Twenties" (April 2013).
Dressner is about to release her newest work a single titled "Don't Feel The Same" (release date: November 25, 2013). While of similar ilk to her previous releases, there is a bit more edge and pop added to the mix.
Dressner's songs are delivered with a such conversational ease, it often seems as if she is reading from an intimate letter or a book, set to music. Her straightforward lyrical style, sharp ear for wordplay and crisp, lilting vocals offer listeners a frontrow seat to her stories, as they take shape above the understated music. She has been compared to an up-tempo Mazzy Star ‘Fade Into You,’ or Jenny Lewis.
While in New York, Annie played a variety of clubs and bars since 2009, including Rockwood Music Hall, The Living Room, The Bitter End and Brooklyn's Jalopy. Since arriving in the UK, Annie has played at Festivals & venues throughout England, such as the Green Man Festival, Secret Garden Party, Cambridge Folk Festival, Cluny2, O2 Academy Islington, Norwich Arts Centre, Night & Day, and has opened for Emily Barker, Simone Felice, Kirsty McGee, Juan Zelada, Lucy Wainwright Roche & Fossil Collective.
Back in the hot summer of 2003, a 28-year-old Paulusma was busy amongst the flowerpots in her garden shed putting the finishing touches to her home-recorded, self-produced debut album 'Scissors In My Pocket' when Bjork's indie label One Little Indian signed her up.
Writing songs since she was 10, it had taken her a while to realize her vocation. A Cambridge English graduate with a First, she’d already ditched a promising career as a news journalist at the BBC, a literary agent and a PhD to get to this moment at the end of her garden.
‘Scissors In My Pocket’, an acoustic work of intimate tenderness, immediately received widespread critical acclaim upon its 2004 release.
Uncut (2004) **** “the finest young British female singer-songwriter to emerge over the last 12 months”.
MOJO (2004) **** “complete, pure and personal”.
Rolling Stone USA (2004) “an enchanting debut of understated, intelligent folk pop”.
She was subsequently catapulted around the world supporting Bob Dylan, Jamie Cullum, Coldplay, The Divine Comedy, Marianne Faithfull, Joseph Arthur and Gary Jules before playing Glastonbury, T in the Park, V Festival and the Cambridge Folk Festival among many others. Sony ATV in LA signed her publishing and she toured the US twice. Thanks to her songs being used in two Italian ad spots, she found she had a growing fan base in Italy and also toured that country twice.
In 2007, just after the birth of her first child, she released the much darker, more electric ‘Fingers & Thumbs’, co-produced with Ken Nelson (Coldplay, Gomez, Badly Drawn Boy, Kings of Convenience) and recorded in Liverpool’s famous Parr Street studios. This album charted the tragedy of a series of miscarriages which had blighted the previous three years.
In 2011 (and two children later) she completed her first feature film soundtrack, Clear Lake starring Roddy Piper and began work on her third album. In 2012 she founded her own record label Wild Sound (www.wildsoundrecordings.com) and released Leaves from the Family Tree, which features the warm, cinematic strings of EMMY-winning Sherlock composer Michael Price (www.michaelpricemusic.com) and collaborations with alt-folk heroes John Parker (Nizlopi), Adem (www.adem.tv) and Erin McKeown (www.erinmckeown.com). In 2012 she played to a packed and appreciative club tent at the Cambridge Folk Festival and toured the UK in her caravan as well as performing a series of innovative online gigs from her home using stageit.com, busking for tweets in Trafalgar Square and making youtube videos from great British places (see www.youtube.com).
2013 is set to be another busy year – a vinyl pressing of Leaves… in conjunction with Diverse Records (funded by a PledgeMusic campaign raising £3000 in preorders), the release on Wild Sound of other artists including Coventry-based Stylusboy (www.stylusboy.co.uk) and Wales protégé Harry Harris, whose debuts albums she has also produced – and a cowriting duet project with beautiful singer-songwriter Annie Dressner.