(printed with permission from Iowa Source Magazine, Jan. 2020)
SEE the FREE shared Spotify playlist at the bottom of this article.
Over the past eight years, Pittsburgh native Brooke Annibale has been sharing her songwriting and singing talents through CDs and well-received live performances. Brooke grew up in a family that owned a music store, and her father taught her acoustic guitar at an early age. Since 2015, she has toured and opened for various artists including Iron & Wine, Josh Ritter, Margaret Glaspy, Great Lake Swimmers, Jesca Hoop, Rufus Wainwright, the Handsome Family, and Aoife O’Donovan.
Brooke’s musical styles span genres of folk, rock, Americana, and pop in masterful ways. In an interview for Glide Magazine in 2018, Brooke said she doesn’t always have a preconceived plan in mind when she’s writing lyrics for a new album, “but it’s always interesting to see what themes rise to the surface when I look at the songs collectively.” On her CD Hold to the Light, she realized that the words “time” and “light” appeared again and again. “I’ve found that the unintentional theme of the record is taking a closer look, examining things in your life, and really figuring out what you need or desire to feel more complete. The different references to time—how we spend it, running out of it, never wasting it, and the fear of wasting the time of others—are entwined with that closer look at life.”
Enjoy these tracks that span her eight years of songwriting.
Under Streetlights (2011). From the CD Silence Worth Breaking, this is my favorite of Brooke’s songs, exposing the best of her musical and lyrical talents. Her magnetic voice shines synergistically with splendid production elements: simple chords on echoed electric guitar, textured electronic whispers, and soft percussion. The melody is haunting.
Glow (2018). On the CD Hold to the Light, Brooke collaborates with producer Sam Kassirer (Lake Street Dive, Josh Ritter) and guest artists from the National and Sylvan Esso. On this track, she shares the delight of finding a resonant soul: “You’ve got that glow like a summer night / We’re young enough to make it right.”
I Believe (2011). Enjoy lilting, whispering strings and pedal steel guitar behind Brooke’s vocals on this song of redemption and acceptance, showing love to someone who has been wrongly rejected in some unspecified way: “I believe in times passing / we’ll see the truth in the light / I believe in times passing / we’ll see the love in the light.”
Collided (Piano Version, 2019). This is one of several remixed versions of the 2018 song. The arrangement with piano as the central instrumental theme reminds me of singer-songwriter Cat Power. If you like this track, check out Cat Power’s song “Willie” from 2006.
Find more good songs from Brooke on her 2015 CD, The Simple Fear.
Click on the play arrow to listen to 30-second samples of these tracks. Then, click on the green Spotify button that will appear for you to hear full FREE tracks on this shared Spotify playlist. Tell your friends to visit this free streaming website.