The music business is such a strange beast. If an artist doesn’t fit into a specific niche, it can be a struggle for them to succeed. It seems so often when talented artists aren’t willing to stay between the lines, they are passed over in favor of someone willing to adhere to the prescribed path.
Anna Nalick, New Voice, Old Soul
Anna Nalick was a huge commercial hit with her debut album Wreck of the Day. The song Breathe (2am) had a lengthy run on the charts in 2004-2005. I was definitely a late comer to the album, but I have listened to it front to back, back to front and shuffled seven ways to Sunday. I just love her voice it’s very rich and her lyrics, unlike much of today’s music, are open to interpretation. She’s publicly stated she prefers her listeners draw their own conclusions about the meaning of her songs.
Anna Nalick was in her early 20’s when Wreck of The Day hit big, but her music appealed to a more mature audience. Breathe(2am) hit #45 on the pop charts and #4 on the Adult Contemporary charts. After Wreck, Nalick put out an EP entitled Shine with Sony records, but then it was announced she’d split with the label over “creative differences”. Independently she put out one more collection of songs called Broken Doll & Odds & Ends. A group of unpublished songs she’d written while with Sony. Good songs, but not necessarily commercially viable in the genre ruled world of commercial radio . We’ll never know what happened, but my guess is the record label tried to shoe horn Nalick into their preconceived ideas of what a successful pop singer should be and she refused to be categorized.
I thought she was gone. Poof! Everybody has to make their own choices about the work that they do and how much they are willing to compromise themselves to meet someone else’s expectations. It was my guess the price of fame and commercial success was just too high. I checked her web site occasionally, but nothing new seemed to be forthcoming.
Anna Nalick’s Facebook Page To the Rescue
Thank goodness for social media! Last week, a concert announcement appeared in my Facebook feed. Anna Nalick was touring again! Yay! Not only was she touring, but she was kicking off the tour in my backyard, well almost. WOOT! WOOT! I had dinner plans but I bailed on my friends (they’re good friends who understand my obsession with music) and immediately started searching for someone to go with me. Alone or with a friend, I was going to see Anna Nalick! Thankfully, my friend Jill rescued me from going solo.
I didn’t know what to expect, it has been quite a while since she’d put out any new material and her voice is so rich on the recordings I wondered if she’d be able to match that live. I was not disappointed. This was the first stop on the tour and as a self-proclaimed talker, she was clearly a little nervous, but the audience was encouraging and she settled into a wonderful performance. It was just her and a keyboard player. Together they performed songs from both of her full albums and mixed in a few new songs that were well received.
During the show, she talked of taking some time off after leaving Sony to clear her system and get back to being a more “honest songwriter”. She’d also started taking classes in creative writing and acting. She’s performed in one play and excitedly talked about a second play she would be performing in upon completion of this tour. I kept hoping she’d say “I’ll have a new CD for sale at the end of the show”, but instead she said “I just have to write lyrics for two or three more songs and then there will be a new record.” Sigh, I guess knowing there is something coming is better than thinking I’d never hear her voice again. After the show, she chatted, signed autographs and posed with fans for pictures.
I really enjoyed seeing Anna Nalick perform and I am looking forward to hearing new music from her. She’s a gifted songwriter and a talented songwriter. I really hope that she can rise above the monolithic recording industry and well shine.
Do you like Anna Nalick? What’s a new artist you just found? I’m always looking for new music.
I’d never been to the Tupelo Music Hall before, but I’m really looking forward to going back! The parking is a little wonky, but the venue itself is intimate and enjoyable.