Release Date: Mar 10, 2009
Record label: 4AD
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Anni Rossi is a multi-instrumentalist who began violin training at age three, and has been performing as a solo artist since high school. After relocating to Chicago from Los Angeles, where she studied composition at California Institute of the Arts, the 23-year-old Minnesota native has rounded up a small but dedicated fanbase during extensive tours throughout Europe and the United States. When I first saw Rossi perform live, in Berlin during summer 2006, she was a member of Carla Bozulich's touring band.
To call this Anni Rossi's debut Long Player is perhaps a tad disingenuous; it's only seven minutes longer than last year's EP, Afton, and only four more songs are present, one of which is an Ace of Base cover – 'Living In Danger'. Similarly, the length of tracks only extends beyond three minutes twice. It's not that this in itself is particularly disappointing, but even from the outset it's like we're being teased with a collection of alt.folk flavoured musical hors d'oeuvres.
Run a finger over the pulse of contemporary folk music in 2009 and the prognosis isn’t exactly healthy. The pioneers of the freak-folk scene of the early 2000s have either changed tack completely or gone very quiet. Devendra Banhart’s messy Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon sounded like a death knell for the genre, and it’s become less common to hear outright folk signifiers in the glut of new music emerging on either side of the Atlantic.Minnesotan Anni Rossi is a rare exception to this rule, although her music is far from full on folk.
Anni Rossi, a young, classically trained violist and singer, has a small but loyal fanbase and a 4AD record deal. So we should probably be paying more attention to her. She makes it as easy as she can on her debut full-length. See, Rockwell is a recapitulation of sorts. Mostly made up of re ….