Annie Gallup

Weather

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Annie Gallup recently moved to Santa Barbara, but the California sunshine hasn't had a major impact on her skeptical view of love and life in the modern world. The cover photo of a bed sheet being tormented by a winter wind lets you know that we're in for some stormy weather, but if you're going to party with the ghosts and goblins of this imperfect existence, Gallup is a good companion to have by your side. On Weather she's accompanied by a string quartet that adds its sonorous tones to her insightful portraits. "Bird" opens the album on a serious note, telling the story of a woman sleeping peacefully with her lover while, miles away, her house burns to the ground. The solemn music and Gallup's somber vocals capture this dichotomy with understated irony. "My War" deals with inner struggles as well as the greater conflict and despite its title it's a sprightly track with a darkly humorous lyric and an almost carefree vocal. "Sixty Eight" is a jazzy folk-rock track, as much a poem as song, and recounts the events of one of America's most tumultuous years on Gallup's young psyche. "Late" is a short story set to a score Gallup created with the album's arranger, Asia Mei, that deals with missed connections, lost opportunities, and unsatisfying relationships. It's a perfect distillation of the joyful sorrows that often pass for happiness. The one relatively upbeat song is "Regrets," in which Gallup offers consolation to a man whose entire life seems to have gone wrong. When she sings "All your regrets led you here to me," you don't know if she's offering her lover a benediction or a curse.

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