Album review: ANNIE DRESSNER – Coffee at the Corner Bar

ANNIE DRESSNER – Coffee at the Corner Bar

Website [Release date 15.05.20]

An American in Cambridge, since moving to the city by the Cam, Annie Dressner have been creating some of the most enchanting modern folk around with material that transports you easily to her home country.

This latest album contains twelve slices of sophisticated and hugely enjoyable vignettes of life and stands as arguably her finest achievement thus far. The moods are myriad, capturing a number of times and places with the perfectly turned musical and lyrical phrasing of a musician born with a poet’s heart and the artistic vision of a Spielberg or a Fellini. Truly, ‘Coffee at the Corner Bar’ can take you from that very location and onto a widescreen panoply of varying vistas, each one conjured with style and ease.

From the gently shuffling beat of opener ‘Nyack’ and the beautifully rolling Café Culture stylings of ‘Dogwood’ that brings to mind Simon and Garfunkel at their most pastoral, mixing it with a splash of Americana, Dressner is your fearless and expert guide to her world as she probes the human soul. ‘Midnight Bus’ puts you firmly on the seat of a Greyhound as it takes you on a mystic journey beside the sparkling waters of the Pacific Coast and ‘Beyond the Leaves’ is so glorious and gorgeous that you find yourself surprised that anyone still makes albums this lovely.

The perfect album to listen to whilst sipping a cappuccino or a glass of wine, each track has its particular story to tell and world to take you to, each one filled with wonder and its own light. There’s many different hues to the release, both in the tone of the lyrics and music and Dressner swings from the summery ‘Pretend’ through to the more uptempo college rock of ‘Quiet’, displaying that she’s not ‘all bedsit poetry’ and wistful folksiness.

The album closes with the delicious double of ‘Out in the Cold’ and ‘Losing You’, both things of wonder, the former like a kaleidoscope of fractured rainbows on a snowy night and the latter a delicate and pensive goodbye that has an empowered heart at its centre. ‘Coffee at the Corner Bar’ is something to cherish and will long remain, indelibly marked, in your mind and soul.  ****

Review by Paul Monkhouse

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