Complete honesty is a difficult quality to find in an artist. For many, the allure of music is the opportunity to wrap nuggets of truth up in layer upon layer of story and anecdote.
Not so with Annie Booth. Her new EP Spectral is an open and frank interaction with the listener, with nothing held back. That’s clear to hear on opening track ‘Magic 8‘, where Booth almost exasperatedly claims “this is all I have to give to you“. The track itself is a delicate, acoustic guitar led arrangement exploring self doubt and a quest for answers.
On ‘Mirage‘, it seems some of those questions lead on to glimmers of hope. However, as the title suggests, we often find that hope can be disappointing when examined in closer detail. The instrumentation is sparse and bitterwseet, reflecting perfectly the emotion of splintered dreams.
By the time you reach ‘Still‘ there is a noticeable shift in sound. The guitars are switched out for cascading piano melodies, but what really stands out is Annie Booth‘s experimentation with vocal rhythm. While keeping the sounds soft, she manages to deliver short, punchy lines in the verses which overemphasise every syllable. The choruses on the other hand feature elongated, fading cries which haunt the listener.
Spectral comes to a enthralling close with ‘Spiralling‘, perhaps the most tender and fragile sounding track of the four. She toys with the idea of returning to the start with the refrain “this is how we begin and end this is…”, a never ending loop which leaves the listener craving more.
This is an EP which proves you don’t need volume to provide drama. Armed with very intimate arrangements, Annie Booth has created a collection of songs which feel personal both to artist and audience. The honesty and sincerity of Spectral is charming and enchanting, a mark of Booth’s growth as a musician.