Anna Ash - Sleeper - De krenten uit de pop

Orignal Article in Dutch

Anna Ash - Sleeper

It is very hard to penetrate American roots music, but Anna Ash knows how to distinguish herself with a full and warm 70s sound and especially with a very special voice
. Sleeper is my first acquaintance with the music of American singer-songwriter Anna Ash and it's a pleasant acquaintance. The musician from Los Angeles knows how to distinguish herself with the beautiful and warm coloring of her album, with timeless songs with a lot of influences from the 70s and above all with a very special voice. It is a beautiful voice, but also a voice that pushes the boundaries a bit. It's the kind of voice that can go hand in hand or touch you deeply and as far as I'm concerned Anna Ash does the latter. Reason enough to group the American musician among the promises in the genre, even if she has been around for a while.

The American singer-songwriter Anna Ash has a stack of EPs and four albums to her name. Until recently, however, I had never listened to her music and none of her previous albums sounded even remotely familiar to me. I therefore started completely blank when I listened to Sleeper, which was released this week, and hit the floor here a few weeks ago. 
Anna Ash is a musician who currently operates out of Los Angeles, California, and makes music that fits the category of American roots music, which it has been almost irresponsible to push in recent years. It is therefore not easy to stand out, but Anna Ash convinces easily in the first notes of the opening track of her album. 
She does this with a nice full sound in which both guitars and strings play an important role and with an expressive but in my opinion also pleasant voice. On the opening track of her new album, Anna Ash operates at the intersection of American roots music, 70s singer-songwriter music and pop music as it was made in 1970s Los Angeles. 
The ingredients that dominate in the opening track also play an important role in the tracks that follow. The guitars play an important role in the music on Sleeper, but the warm and full sound on the album is beautifully decorated with, among other things, strings, horns and an organ. It is a sound that is easily convinced and does not go against the grain. 
Anna Ash's voice may well do that, because the American musician has a touch of Joni Mitchell here and there and a touch of Lucinda Williams in her voice and also looks for the extremes of her range and you have to love that. I myself am very charmed by the vocals on Sleeper. 
The instrumentation on Sleeper is neat and pleasant, but perhaps also a bit ordinary, although the tracks on the second half of the album sound pleasantly authentic. However, in combination with the special vocals on the album, Anna Ash succeeds in creating a special sound of her own. It is a sound with a high 70s quality, but it does not sound dated for a moment. 
Sleeper is a timeless-sounding album that takes you back to the heyday of Laurel Canyon folk, but with a slightly fuller and heavier sound, although Anna Ash also slows down with some regularity. It sounds very pleasant, but it is the emotion in Anna Ash's special voice that provides Sleeper with distinctiveness. 
The American musician has written a number of personal songs and performs them full of feeling and emotion. And when the vocals take a step back, you can hear how beautiful and full the instrumentation is and I am less and less impressed by Anna Ash's music. 
Every now and then I am a bit overwhelmed by the enormous range of American roots music, but I know that there can always be an album that does just that little bit more for me than the average album in the genre. Sleeper by Anna Ash is such an album and I am convinced that it is an album that will appeal to many more fans of American roots music, although I wouldn't be surprised if not everyone is charmed by the vocals on the album. It took me a while to get used to it myself, I admit, but now every note of Anna Ash hits the mark. Erwin Zijleman

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