Us folks here at Southern are very proud to have reached the triumphant milestone of 160. Yes, that’s right – one hundred and sixty releases on the Southern imprint. Not bad for a label in its 18th year. And we couldn’t be happier than for that milestone to be marked by the release of an album by someone we first collaborated with well before the label was started. It was way back in 1981 that we first worked with the girl from New York who had followed Crass back to their house in Epping, for the release of her Barbed Wire Halo single on Crass Records. None other than Miss Annie Anxiety, aka Annie Bandez, aka Little Annie.
Annie’s latest work is Genderful, her second album with her piano muse, and co-conspirator, composer Paul Wallfisch. The duo somehow manage to perfectly mix soul songs and chansons, bluesy saloon singing and European cabaret styling into a gorgeous, new amalgam.
In Mojo magazine’s review of the album they call Annie “the female counterpart to the Lou Reed of 1982’s Blue Mask – a voice full of pickled New York wisdom”. And we’re not going to argue! Genderful is a true New York blues album – even if Annie and Paul play around with the musical form (a bit of camp show-tune here, a dash of Bowery chanson there) – certainly in spirit. From the opening lines “Give me your tired, give me your poor” (a nod to the sonnet by Emma Lazarus engraved on the inside of the Statue of Liberty), through “Billy Martin Requiem” (a paean to the late, great, Yankees manager), the barbed salute to cookie-cutter urbanites in “Cutesy Bootsies”, and the tender tributes to the lost street characters of “Carried Away” and Adrianna”… it’s an album that has the salty sewers and half-empty bottles of champagne of New York running through its veins.
Listen to: Little Annie & Paul Wallfisch “Carried Away”
Genderful is released in the UK in April and throughout Europe in May. The CD is available for pre-order from our web shop now.
Annie has just been announced as special support for Marc Almond’s forthcoming 30 Year Celebration – My Hits And A Sides tour. Annie will be performing a special set with Baby Dee. The first dates are as follows – more will be announced in the coming weeks.
- 12 The Anvil, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK
- 13 De La Warr Pavilion, Marina, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex, UK
- 15 St Davids Hall, Cardiff, UK
- 19 Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, UK
- 20 The Lowry, Salford, UK
- 23 The Picturehouse, Edinburgh, UK
- 24 The ABC, Glasgow, UK
- 25 The Stage, Newcastle, UK
- 28 Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, UK
- 29 Town Hall, Huddersfield, UK
- 30 Villa Marina, Isle of Man, UK
- 02 Shepherds Bush Empire, London, UK
And we’ll leave you with the gorgeous first video from Genderful – see you on the other side of heartache!