Written by: Amy Whitford
Album cover photo courtesy of Anne Freeman and used by permission of the artist
After a handful of stunning singles, Oxford, Mississippi-located Anne Freeman has released her debut album today, the 10-song Keep It Close.
The LP features tracks that Freeman has been honing for years in dive bars across the South, winning over audiences with her singular blend of smoky twang and wistful dreampop.
Freeman has been writing songs since she was 12, tagging along with her older brother to various clubs, and performing in-between his sets.
Her record captures that live spirit, with songs like “I’ve Got A Knife” that were recorded in a single take. It’s easy to imagine Freeman and the band sounding just like this in a live setting.
Freeman’s voice has a familiar quality to it, with the easiest comparison being Molly Rankin of Alvvays fame, though Freeman’s has a distinctly earthy bent to it, tethering the songs even when they start to drift skyward.
“When I’m A Wreck” makes great use of orchestral flourishes, wrenching every drop of emotion out of a heartfelt song about partnership and unconditional love. “Loose Connection” is another highlight that puts her songwriting chops on full display over a slow-burn ballad structure.
Lead single “City Watched Me Burn” reflects on an intense night out, running from life’s questions, and the anxiety-inducing hangover of the next day. It comes with a beautiful video that finds Freeman and friends tearing up the local bowling alley, finding peace in the chaos of it all through their friendship.
Taken all together, the collection makes for a truly impressive debut, and establishes Freeman as a terrific songwriter with a fantastic voice. Keep It Close is out now via Muscle Beach Records.
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