Stream: Annabel Lee, ‘Mother’s Hammer’
Kevin Bronson on
“I wanna fear god with a self-made grit / Don’t wanna suffer the age I’m in,” Annabel Lee sings in her paean to the punk poet laureate, “Patti Smith.” Make no mistake, suffering permeates Lee’s long-in-the-works debut album, “Mother’s Hammer,” but ultimately so does triumph. With a ferocity that matches her live shows (and they are beasts) and a deftness that often eludes blues belters, she unpacks loads of personal baggage without crushing the listener with its weight.
Annabel Lee is the Edgar Allen Poe-inspired nom de tune of songwriter Sarah Borrello, a Boston-bred, MassArt-educated artist who was celebrated by that city’s music scene. Some years and some (artistic and personal) misadventures later, she is in L.A. — avoiding self-immolation, if we are to believe one of the album’s most powerful tracks, “Los Angeles.”
Authored solely by Borrello and produced by Justin Glasco, “Mother’s Hammer” skitters between folk, pop and classic rock while allowing ample space for her vocal prowess and lyrical acuity. Melodies stick, and so do her verses.
Whether Annabel Lee is issuing gripping confessionals like “All My Ghosts” (in which she is mired in a relationship as the woman who came after) or drawing sharp character studies (“Saltine Cracker Girl”), it’s worth witnessing the singer-songwriter swinging from the heels.
||| Watch: The video for “Alas, I’m a Lady”
||| Stream: “Mother’s Hammer” in its entirety
||| Live: Annabel Lee headlines the Moroccan Lounge on Saturday, March 25. Tickets.
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