Saturday, February 16, 2008

Spymaster Ann Vriend

With the upcoming release of her third full length album (titled When We Were Spies) next month on March 11th, Canadian Ann Vriend is trying to break into the public's eye. Her previous work has been hailed internationally but acclaim has been less forthcoming here in North America. She's hoping to change that with this release, and in fact one of the songs from the album and the first single, St. Paul (listen to it below), has already drawn praise and play north of the border.

My first impression upon hearing the album was surprise. Looking at the cover, and the title, I was expecting something slinky, something Casablanca-ish. Instead, be ready for something Rhinestone-ish. That's not necessarily a bad thing - so long as you're ready for it! Ann's got a great voice and cinematic style that reminds me of a cross between Brandi Carlile and Dolly Parton: a little twangy at times, but still toeing that alt-country / Americana line. The one low point in the album happens when Ann covers Neil Young's Rockin' In the Free World. I know covers are supposed to be about putting your own spin on other people's tracks, but in this case it just doesn't work. I very much prefer Ann's own songs. Try out the two below and see for yourself.

Ann Vriend - Central Park Monday
: When We Were Spies

Ann Vriend - St. Paul : When We Were Spies

Visit her website and become her friend on MySpace.


Brandi Carlile - Throw It All Away : Brandi Carlile

Dolly Parton - 9 To 5 : 9 To 5 and Odd Jobs

No comments: