Annie Dressner’s lyrical life has seen her trot from the US to the UK throughout the development of her musical identity. With roots sewn in New York, much of her heritage lies in music, with her grandparents having first met while working in radio and her parents imbuing her with a love of piano in her early years. Since, she’s developed an individualistic style as a singer-songwriter—direct, indelible, and subtly bittersweet—that she’s toured throughout the indie circuit to acclaim since. Her latest, “Midnight Bus”, is unsuspecting, grungy folk that wouldn’t feel remiss in the songbooks of Phoebe Bridgers or Elliott Smith, but it’s Dressner’s own.
Co-written with Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws, he accompanies Dressner on the track and assists in filling-in its nostalgic layers. On its development, she recalls, “I co-wrote this song with my friend Matthew Caws (Nada Surf) back in 2013. I hadn’t written songs with many other people, and we just decided to do it one evening for the fun of it. The song has meaning to both of us, but separately, which I think is really interesting. For me, it reminded me of being 24 wandering around Astoria, New York, and going to a lot of open mics. There was a man who I would sometimes run into with a red telescope, and he would show me Saturn when I was walking back to the subway in a bit of a daze. He was almost a friend. New York can be special in that way.”
“Midnight Bus” features on Dressner’s latest album, Coffee at the Corner Bar, due out 4 September. “In choosing my songs for the album, Coffee at the Corner Bar, I remembered this one and was lucky that Matthew was happy to play and sing on the song. Since we wrote it together, it made it very special for the recording. Matthew wrote the part at the end during the recording, which was also a wonderful musical gift. There was lots of back and forths with my husband, Paul Goodwin, who produced the record, about “should there be tambourine, should there not be tambourine?”