Tag Archives: Brooke Annibale

2013 EPs of the Year: The Full List

15 Dec

EPs of 2013 - Full List

We know that some of you out there like to have everything in one place so, like we did with our 2014 Previews and Tracks of 2013, we’ve collated our EPs of the Year into one post as well. And there’s a lovely Soundcloud playlist of tracks from each EP at the end as well.

We hope you find something you like.


#10 Wooden Arms – Wooden Arms

”It’s full of gentle, ebbing melodies that drift and glide like birds on a breeze; this eponymous release is often balletic in feel. Ambient sounds; be they deep cello or light violin, music box light or portentous dark piano, ripple and flow like a mountain stream.”

#9 Sivu – I Lost Myself

”[It] is a wonderful collection of elegant, rousing songwriting, sublime melodies and deceptively intricate arrangements. We’ve said it before and will continue to do so until such time as his debut full length is released, we can’t wait for the album.”

#8 White Prism – White Prism

”Her eponymous debut EP is full of cool, futuristic electronica and melodious vocals that float along in a cool reverie of compulsive beats and 80’s inspired synths. It’s soft, subtle, delicate, sultry (in places) and gorgeous.”

#7 MYPET – Reflex

”It is exciting, vibrant and full of life. Sinewy electro noodles wind their way around grand, cacophonic beats as vocals rise up, like an arm bursting forth from the grave, seeking liberty from its earthen prison.”

#6 Garnets – Towns

”Ethereal vocals, barely there percussion, muted piano sounds, hushed and haunting murmurings and melodies are juxtaposed with vibrant and choppy waters of riff based pop and crashing rhythms. Almost as if they want to stir our body as well as our mind.”

#5 Annie – A&R

”The result is just fantastic pop, notably the outstandingly catchy and hook laden sounds of “Back Together” and “Ralph Macchio”. Her vocals sound as lovely and disarming as ever and the result is five tracks of brilliance. If she keeps making pop as good as this, we won’t mind the long waits between releases so much.”

#4 TV Girl – Lonely Women

”Lyrics are whimsical but real, observational, humorous but touching and the tunes are full of throwback indie-pop, lo-fi hip-hop beats and cascading piano melodies. The EP sounds fantastic and stands up to multiple and repeated listening, as have all TV Girl EPs so far, and they really are an act that are growing and improving with every release.”

#3 Us Baby Bear Bones – What Starts With a U Ends With an I

“The trick that they are so adept at pulling off is that in amongst the layers of sound, the spiralling electronic rhythms, the world of ice and the creeping shadows, damn fine pop songs are to be found. They are emotional and evocative as well as being catchy and very easy on the ear. They swirl like a galaxy, magnificent and seemingly infinite, growling and bursting with each note and vocal.

#2 Gems – Medusa

”This is a blissful listen of style, grace and soft focus dreaminess. Their tracks are like billowing lace curtains by an open window with gentle undulations reaching softly into the room, touching your ears like a kiss from a butterfly.”

#1 Brooke Annibale – Words In Your Eyes

”That folky, country background is apparent in her voice; her dreamy, dreamy voice. We could quite easily get lost in her vocals. At times light and breathy, such as on “Tragically Beautiful”, it skips along playfully. At other times it drops, the emotion it conveys is that much deeper, more heartfelt perhaps, but despite this strength of tone, it never loses its warmth or gentleness.

…One of the major elements within the whole EP is the orchestration, the gorgeous, sumptuous orchestration.

We’re suckers for a good string section and Brooke Annibale uses hers fabulously. From small, subtle inflections to big, dramatic emotions, the strings add so much to each of the six tracks on Words In Your Eyes. Violins soar, lifting the melodies high upon their wings while cellos rumble darkly underneath. The emotional resonance of her songs is enhanced exponentially as the strings glide alongside her vocals; undulating with the pitch of her voice and the sentiment of her lyrics.”



2013 EPs of the Year: #5 – 1

13 Dec

EPs of 2013 - 5-1

Our look back at the best releases of the year continues today with our favourite EPs of the last 12 months. As we mentioned yesterday, when revealing who made it to places 10-6 in our countdown, the standard of mini-releases this year has been exceptional and in all honesty, we could have chosen a completely different Top 10 and still been happy with our selection. That releases from the likes of Salt Cathedral, Empress Of, Marika Hackman and MØ didn’t quite make it into this list at all just goes to show that the quality really has been that good.

Here we go then with our Top 5 EPs of 2013.


#5 Annie – A&R

Annie A and R

At a time when the influence of the 80s is still prevalent (if not quite omnipotent) in synth based pop, the return of Annie with the A&R EP was a breath of fresh (if not new) air. Working once again with producer Richard X (A&R stands for Annie & Richard btw) she stopped her time machine short of the 80s and hopped off in the midst of early 90s dance-pop instead. The entire look, feel, sound and joy of the EP. Including cover art and fantastic The Chart Show homage-ing video, is steeped in that vibrant colour of a time that was shaking off the giant shoulder pads of the decade before and starting to get (a bit) more cool. The result is just fantastic pop, notably the outstandingly catchy and hook laden sounds of “Back Together” and “Ralph Macchio”. Her vocals sound as lovely and disarming as ever and the result is five tracks of brilliance. If she keeps making pop as good as this, we won’t mind the long waits between releases so much.


Buy it from: iTunes


#4 TV Girl – Lonely Women

TV Girl Lonely Women

Loneliness, depression and feelings of worthlessness feature heavily in TV Girl’s third EP, but rather than wallow in self pity and melodrama, Lonely Womenis full of wry wit and warmth, as well as some killer sounds. Lyrics are whimsical but real, observational, humorous but touching and the tunes are full of throwback indie-pop, lo-fi hip-hop beats and cascading piano melodies. The EP sounds fantastic and stands up to multiple and repeated listening, as have all TV Girl EPs so far, and they really are an act that are growing and improving with every release. With Lonely Women TV Girl has given us a gloriously sardonic and enjoyable look at the darker side of human emotion that they have deftly crafted with humanity, affection and great songs.


Buy it from: TV Girl


#3 Us Baby Bear Bones – What Starts With a U Ends With an I

Us Baby Bear Bones

Brighton based trio Us Baby Bear Bones are quite the special act and their debut EP, What Starts With a U Ends With an I is full of cool synths and electronica washing over compulsive beats, shadows, foreboding and ill portent. Puff and Daisy’s intertwining vocals and harmonies are ice sculptures atop a sonic glacier bathed in the eerie glow of the northern lights above. The trick that they are so adept at pulling off is that in amongst the layers of sound, the spiralling electronic rhythms, the world of ice and the creeping shadows, damn fine pop songs are to be found. They are emotional and evocative as well as being catchy and very easy on the ear. They swirl like a galaxy, magnificent and seemingly infinite, growling and bursting with each note and vocal.


Buy it from: Us Baby Bear Bones


#2 Gems – Medusa

Gems Medusa

Washington DC duo GEMS have featured in the site a fair bit over the year and especially in the last week or so as we have tipped big things for them in 2014. Their debut EP, Medusa, places the pair at the very top of the tree marked, ‘shimmery dream pop’. The vocals on the four tracks are goosebump making and the ice cool melodies are heart-meltingly gorgeous and ethereal. This is a blissful listen of style, grace and soft focus dreaminess. Their tracks are like billowing lace curtains by an open window with gentle undulations reaching softly into the room, touching your ears like a kiss from a butterfly.


Buy it from: iTunes


#1 Brooke Annibale – Words In Your Eyes

Brooke Annibale

Our number one EP this year is one that we have played more than any other and one that continues to offer something new, something we’d not heard or appreciated before with each listen. This is what we said about it earlier this year:

“Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Brooke Annibale is a singer songwriter of considerable talent. Her 2011 album, Silence Worth Breaking, was nominated for an Independent Music Award and won the people’s vote award in the Adult Contemporary category. Now she has returned with a new EP that showcases her propensity for perpetual musical motion and the evolving nature of her sound.

Words In Your Eyes supposedly represents a move away from the acoustic folk-pop styles which were evident on Annibale’s debut album, and while there is lot more on offer here, she hasn’t completely left it behind. Nor should she as it serves to add much to the other elements she has blended into these six tracks.

That folky, country background is apparent in her voice; her dreamy, dreamy voice. We could quite easily get lost in her vocals. At times light and breathy, such as on “Tragically Beautiful”, it skips along playfully. At other times it drops, the emotion it conveys is that much deeper, more heartfelt perhaps, but despite this strength of tone, it never loses its warmth or gentleness.

There are little reference points dotted all over, country, pop, ambient and folk all play a role, heck there is even minute elements of Led Zeppelin hidden within “Silence Worth Breaking”; the track her debut album was named after but didn’t feature. One of the major elements within the whole EP is the orchestration, the gorgeous, sumptuous orchestration.

We’re suckers for a good string section and Brooke Annibale uses hers fabulously. From small, subtle inflections to big, dramatic emotions, the strings add so much to each of the six tracks on Words In Your Eyes. Violins soar, lifting the melodies high upon their wings while cellos rumble darkly underneath. The emotional resonance of her songs is enhanced exponentially as the strings glide alongside her vocals; undulating with the pitch of her voice and the sentiment of her lyrics.

Never is this symbiosis better than on “You Don’t Know”, which is a stunning 3 and a half minutes of pop music. It brings to mind the high points of Morcheeba’s classic Big Calm and their use of strings, little embellishments here and there building and building to a great swirling denouement. Here they play amongst the guitars and drums before everything comes together in a tumultuous, shimmering ending.

Words In Your Eyes is a collection of delightful, pop songs, sung beautifully by an extremely talented young lady. This one will be on repeat for quite some time, of that we are certain.”


Buy it from: Brooke Annibale


2013 Tracks Of The Year – #10 – 6

10 Dec

Tracks of 2013 - 10-6

Over the last couple of days, we’ve looked at the tracks that we ranked 25 – 11 in our list of favourites for the year (previous posts can be found by clicking these links, 25 – 21, 20 – 16, 15 – 11) and now it’s Top 10 time.

We’re not going to bother reminding you of the rules at this stage, if you’ve been with us for the other posts you will already know them and if you are only just joining us, we bet you’d rather just get to the songs yeah?

Ok then, here they are, our favourite tracks of the year, places 10 – 6.


#10 Brooke Annibale – “Tragically Beautiful”

Taken from the sublime Words In Your Eyes EP, Brooke Annibale’s “Tragically Beautiful” was, to start with, just one of six wonderful tunes that we loved. Then, bit by bit, like a gradual frost creeping silently across the fields and countryside, we suddenly found ourselves consumed, covered entirely by the fragile, pristine and picturesque loveliness that is “Tragically Beautiful”. It is delicate and evocative; it swoops, soars and glides effortlessly across the winter sky as the clouds turn pink with the sun. Heartfelt and poignant, Annibale’s lyrics and winters breath vocals hang in the air, resonating with the listener before dissipating into a swirl of guitar and strings.



#9 Pawws – “Slow Love”

We’ve not exactly been shy about declaring our love for Pawws and for the immensely poptacular “Slow Love”. It is a glorious tune, everything that good pop should be and then some. If skittles let you “taste the rainbow” then “Slow Love” makes you “see, hear, feel, and surf the rainbow”. With influences from the likes of Robyn, Annie and Kylie it’s a spin around during the chorus piece of electro-pop fantasticness. Lucy Taylor’s beautifully sweet and heartfelt vocals blend perfectly with its full on grooveability.



#8 Empress Of – “Hat Trick”

We may have been alone in this, but one thing we took from Empress Of’s “Hat Trick” was how damn sexy it sounded. Just listen as Lorely gets all sweet, sultry and breathy and sings, “Lay my cards on the table / Tell me my future / Tell me I’ll make it move”. See what we mean? Sexy. Wrapped around her seductive tones is an addictive track of swirling beauty that draws you in, Siren like, for play after play after play. Bookended by twinkling, almost shrill, synths the beat and melody swoon and sway along like cavorting partners, clinging to each other in the low light of a slow dance. It is a gloriously misty piece of electro-pop and one we couldn’t get enough of since its release.



#7 Public Service Broadcasting – “Night Mail”

Built around words from the 1936 documentary film of the same name, and the W.H. Auden poem, also of the same name, “Night Mail” is a prime example of what makes Public Service Broadcasting so damn special and why we love them so much. It’s how they use these samples and create and arrange music to complement and enhance it, rather than just sit underneath it. Auden’s poem itself clatters along with the rhythm, tempo and cadence of a steam train charging through the countryside so it is only right that “Night Mail” does the same. It moves relentlessly, excitingly forwards with majestic, rolling scenery all around it. It’s fantastic and as the conductor yells “now” and the train whistle blares out, guitars and drums meet in a perfect storm of controlled energy and ambition as the track steams along.



#6 Avec Sans – “Shiver”

Back when we originally posted Avec Sans’ “Shiver” we rather succinctly stated that it was “fucking fantastic”. We could easily just say the same and leave it at that, but you deserve more and so does the song. It’s just a superb piece of light, dazzling electro pop that teases and tingles. If it was a weapon it would be deadly because it is not a giant in your face kaboom, it’s subtle and delicate and it gets under your skin, into your head as you open yourself up to accept it willingly. It’s so glorious and catchy; it’s a proper earworm tune. If they could find a way to weaponise it, this would be how Avec Sans took over the world. We don’t think anyone would mind too much though.



We’re almost there, come back tomorrow morning to find out who made the Top 5 and which track is our absolute favourite of the year.

Review: Brooke Annibale – Words In Your Eyes EP

25 Jan

Brooke Annibale

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Brooke Annibale is a singer songwriter of considerable talent. Her 2011 album, Silence Worth Breaking, was nominated for an Independent Music Award and won the people’s vote award in the Adult Contemporary category. Now she has returned with a new EP that showcases her propensity for perpetual musical motion and the evolving nature of her sound.

Words In Your Eyes supposedly represents a move away from the acoustic folk-pop styles which were evident on Annibale’s debut album, and while there is lot more on offer here, she hasn’t completely left it behind. Nor should she as it serves to add much to the other elements she has blended into these six tracks.

That folky, country background is apparent in her voice; her dreamy, dreamy voice. We could quite easily get lost in her vocals. At times light and breathy, such as on “Tragically Beautiful”, it skips along playfully. At other times it drops, the emotion it conveys is that much deeper, more heartfelt perhaps, but despite this strength of tone, it never loses its warmth or gentleness.

There are little reference points dotted all over, country, pop, ambient and folk all play a role, heck there is even minute elements of Led Zeppelin hidden within “Silence Worth Breaking”; the track her debut album was named after but didn’t feature. One of the major elements within the whole EP is the orchestration, the gorgeous, sumptuous orchestration.

We’re suckers for a good string section and Brooke Annibale uses hers fabulously. From small, subtle inflections to big, dramatic emotions, the strings add so much to each of the six tracks on Words In Your Mouth. Violins soar, lifting the melodies high upon their wings while cellos rumble darkly underneath. The emotional resonance of her songs is enhanced exponentially as the strings glide alongside her vocals; undulating with the pitch of her voice and the sentiment of her lyrics.

Never is this symbiosis better than on “You Don’t Know”, which is a stunning 3 and a half minutes of pop music. It brings to mind the high points of Morcheeba’s classic Big Calm and their use of strings, little embellishments here and there building and building to a great swirling denouement. Here they play amongst the guitars and drums before everything comes together in a tumultuous, shimmering ending.

Words In Your Eyes is a collection of delightful, pop songs, sung beautifully by an extremely talented young lady. This one will be on repeat for quite some time, of that we are certain.

Brooke Annibale’s Words In Your Eyes EP is released on 5 February and can be pre-ordered here.


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