In Focus: Annie

Fans of stylish tongue-in-cheek pop delivered with confidence and an unbeatable ability to charm are in for an autumn of spiky electro with infectious choruses as Annie’s debut album "Anniemal" hits the shelves.

Annie 2005

Things are looking positive for hot-tipped Bergen chanteuse Annie whose upcoming album “Anniemal” is spearheaded by an irresistible and totally infectious single; “Chewing Gum”. Annie’s latest single is produced in companionship with noted studio wiz Richard X of Sugababes and Rachel Stevens fame. Additional production assistance on “Anniemal” comes from Bergen colleagues Röyksopp, who made headlines with their 2002 Wall of Sound album “Melody AM” that to date has shifted more than 700 000 units. Media attention and general hype is mounting as the release date draws closer, begging the question asked by many these days; will Annie match Röyksopp’s tremendous international success. Only time will tell, what remains certain is that the main character of this odyssey is more than ready to hit the limelight.

Confident Annie
“I have had a strong focus on the production bit” says Annie to Norwegian daily Dagbladet, “I think it will turn out to be a challenging pop-album. It’s scary to suddenly be at the centre of all this attention, but I feel that the album is so good that I deserve the attention that is mounting now”. And mounting it is indeed, NME recently highlighted “Chewing Gum” as single of the week, and also ran an “Radar – Seeking out the best in new music” profile on her. Numerous magazines, journalists, DJs, critics and music industry figures have ranked Annie high on their list of hot acts this autumn.

Annie is signed to 679 Recordings in the UK – better know as Mike Skinner aka The Streets parent label. 679 Recordings is a Warner subsidiary. Her debut album “Anniemal” is scheduled for release late in September,

The Greatest Hit
Annie first rose to media attention five years ago when she delivered trademark airy vocals to the Madonna-sampling underground floor filler, the aptly titled “The Greatest Hit”. The track was produced with her boyfriend at the time, the widely acclaimed DJ Erot who tragically passed away in 2001 due to an inborn organic heart disease. The death of her boyfriend caused a four-year hiatus from the scene, which she gradually returned to by DJing (she’s a highly respected vinyl spinner) and songwriting. Sessions with Richard X, Röyksopp and Finnish DJ and production mate Timo Kaukalamp have finally resulted in the upcoming, and much hyped, album “Anniemal” (title of the year, anyone?).

Says Annie to NME on her new album: “Many things makes me angry. When things are not right I get angry. I’m very much a perfectionist. That’s why the album took so long. But it’s good to be a perfectionist when you make music, because then it’s good music. It’s not healthy to say “I just want to sell a million records”. But I want to sell a million records. The album is good. It should sell. I know what I want, and I will work hard to get it. I want to work hard to get it. Not many pop stars are prepared to work. But I’ve spent my entire life thinking about this album, and now I’ve made it . It’s been really, really worth the wait.”

Strong “Chewing Gum” reception
BBC radio DJ Pete Tong has given high priority to Annie’s latest single and has included “Chewing Gum” on his list of most essential recent single releases.

NME’s Alex Needham joined in and highlighted “Chewing Gum” as single of the week recently. Says Needham on the bubblicious affair:

“We’re slightly premature in reviewing “Chewing Gum” – it’s out around now as a limited edition seven-inch single but isn’t properly released until September, Even if it was scheduled to be the last single released before the Apocalypse, however, we’d still bend the rules in favour of this, a single that manages to radiate ice-cold Nordic aloofness and yet be so ludicrously chirpy it makes Britney sound like Patti Smith.

The reason lies in the inspired pairing of Annie with Richard X. She’s the Norwegian chanteuse who caused a stir in the danced undergrowth with her Madonna-sampling (and, alas, inaccurately titled) ‘The Greatest Hit’ a few years ago. He’s the former bootleg kink who took the Sugababes and Rachel Stevens to the top end of the charts while retaining a fondness for the kind of Sheffield electro-sleaze sells ten copies in Rough Trade and zero in HMV. Together, they’ve made a record that can hold its own on the coolest dancefloors and in the CD:UK studio alike, that will unite everyone from indie fanboys to Dido fans in appreciation of its bubblicious charms.

The lyrics compare men to confectionery and are sighed in an almost illegally high and breathy voice by Annie, who sounds like she could overdose on oxygen alone. The music is a Day Glo homage to ‘80s punk funk (specifically the Tom Tom club’s much sampled ‘Genius of Love’), with electro pings and whizzes underpinned by clattering percussion and a booty-pinching bassline. If we were more muso we could attempt to explain exactly why this record works – something to do with the way the tune’s laid over the rhythm to make It sound deliciously off-kilter. But that would be like performing vivisection on a butterfly. Better to enjoy the summery splendour of ‘Chewing Gum’ whole.”

Annie’s next single is the aptly titled “Heartbeat” that is produced by one of her Bergen colleagues; Torbjørn Brundtland of Röyksopp fame.

Annie’s new web-site is now up and running.

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