Annuals : Sweet Sister EP

<img src="" alt=" " />Annuals do the EP two-step again, with the sweet <i>Sweet Sister</i><span style="font-style: normal">.</span> ...
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Annuals : Sweet Sister

Annuals have always been a hard act to pin down.  Since bursting out of Raleigh with 2006’s Be He Me, they’ve certainly been ‘alternative’, but alt-what?  They can do epic grandeur, with massive instrumentation, and multiple guitarists, keyboardists, and even drummers.  But they can also do sweet alt-country strum with the best of them.  They can even rearrange their line-up, as when guitarist Kenny Florence moved to vocals & singer/keyboardist Adam Baker (QRO interview) went to drums, as alter-ego/side-project Sedona (actually a return to their very original format, as Florence-led Sedona), putting out the less massive Toy Tugboats (QRO review).  Indeed, between Be He & Toy Tug was the Annuals/Sunfold split, Wet Zoo EP (QRO review).  Wet Zoo served as both a side-step towards Sunfold, and also a ghost-step before their Be He bigger follow-up, 2008’s Such Fun (QRO review).  And now Annuals do the EP two-step again, with the sweet Sweet Sister.

Though not a split personality split EP, Sister feels somewhere between Annuals and Sunfold – less the grandeur of Wet Zoo‘s "Sore" (QRO video), more the alt-country of Be He‘s "Hardwood Floor" (QRO video) or Wet Zoo‘s "Around Your Neck".  Indeed, Sister opener "Loxtep" has the lyrics, "Your line around my neck / keeps pullin’ & pullin’", amidst a relaxed, bright near-salsa, with sad undertones.  The sadness stays on the distant "Turncloaking", but this is a decided bright record, as the near-salsa gets brighter with the title track, while "Holler and Howl" is a nice bopping strum with some bigger moments, and closer "Flesh and Blood" is the cheeriest thing Annuals have ever done, with alt-pop/folk sweetness & catch.

Is Sweet Sister a side-step by Annuals, before ‘returning’ to their grander sounds for the next full-length?  Or is it a ghost-step, hinting at where they’re going on the next record?  Does it have to be an either/or?  Annuals can – and have – walked in all kinds of genre terrain, such as the sweet paths of Sweet Sister.

MP3 Stream: "Loxstep"

{audio}/mp3/files/Annuals – Loxstep.mp3{/audio}


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