Anny Celsi | January

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Pop: California Pop Folk: Folk-Rock Moods: Solo Female Artist
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January

by Anny Celsi

Her style has been described as “beatnik cool,” “pop-noir,” and “slightlydelic pop jangle.” Anny’s latest album once again combines Brill Building hooks with a storyteller’s eye for detail.
Genre: Pop: California Pop
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Au Revoir, My Darling
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3:05 $0.99
2. Travelogue
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3:46 $0.99
3. Ghosts in the Room
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4:08 $0.99
4. Oh Baby, Is the Circus Back in Town?
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3:30 $0.99
5. Kaleidoscope Heart
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4:01 $0.99
6. Sank Without a Bubble
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4:09 $0.99
7. Wait
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4:43 $0.99
8. Christmas in the Pines
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3:35 $0.99
9. Citybird
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“…familiar styles -sunshine pop, country flavored rock -but done with a fresh approach and melodies that sound like instant hits.” – Andrew Gladwin, Cabin Essence

“A classy and enduring slice of laid-back pop” – Steve Ferra, Absolute Powerpop

“Anny Celsi…has been churning out first-class handmade music with songs that run deep enough to appeal to the folk & roots crowd while the arrangements are a far cry from morose traditionalism. With her mellifluous, well-tempered voice with a subtle hint of melancholia, Celsi draws us in while her poetic lyrics touch upon travel experiences, relationships and personal matters…What I’m trying to say: Anny Celsi is an original artist with a unique sound.” – Thomas Dewers, Chill@Blue Rose

“Fans of Aimee Mann, Lucinda Williams, Suzanne Vega and Jackie DeShannon will find much to enjoy … the tracks on January turn back the clock to a time when pop music was taken seriously” – Kevin Mathews, Today Online

“These are pop songs for which the phrase 'perfect pop song' was invented.” – Freddy Celis, Rootstime

“Zelden straalt een album zo’n karakter uit. ‘January’ is een veelzijdig album dat ook heel wat Americana liefhebbers zal bekoren.” – Philip Verhaege, Keys and Chords

An album is more than a collection of songs...it's a journey. This one starts in New Orleans, where a brush with a French Quarter ghost inspires a Motown-esque dusk-to-dawn escapade, complete with stacked horns, handclaps and heart-stomping background vocals. The next track, ‘Travelogue,’ carries us along on a real-life odyssey, a tour gone awry when Anny and Nelson Bragg were waylaid by the infamous ash cloud of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull Volcano and found themselves stranded at Heathrow Airport for five days. The song and storytelling cycle continues with ghosts who haunt the corners of the recording studio, boys who yearn to run away and join the circus and the mystifying shards of our own broken-glass hearts – all woven together into a travelogue of risk, resilience and renewal. While the songs are mostly Anny’s originals, January’s winter landscape is completed by a beautifully haunting cover of an early Steve Forbert classic, “Wait.”

In creating January, Anny has once again called upon the wealth of musical talent that Los Angeles offers. Kevin Jarvis, a well-respected producer/drummer who has played with Ben Vaughn, Shawn Mullins, Lucinda Williams, John Wesley Harding and Grant Lee Phillips, among others, played the drums and served as co-producer. Featured musicians include Kirk Swan (Dumptruck), Carl Byron (Michelle Shocked, Jim Lauderdale), 60’s chanteuse Evie Sands and Paul Lacques (I See Hawks in L.A.), local pop legend Adam Marsland (The Standells, Adam Marsland’s Chaos Band) and Bragg. Anny’s son Ivan Pyzow contributed horn, string and vocal arrangements that are steeped in Motown, New Orleans jazz, and classic pop vocal harmony style – amazingly, for someone just past voting age -- as well as trumpet, piano and that rare blend of voices that can only be found between family members.

If you're a fan of Anny Celsi's pop noir storytelling, you'll want to add 'January' to your collection. If you haven't heard her music, start here, work your way backwards through the parade grounds and meet the rest of us behind the Tilt-A-Whirl. Don't bring a map.



Reviews


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Michael Witheford

Some words about January
LA-based Anny Celsi composes and delivers folky pop-rock with effortless assurance and class. Now and then you might sense something of the vibe of of Aimee Mann, Lucinda Williams, or Jackie De Shannon or in her more melancholy moments the Cowboy Junkies or even mazzy Star, but her deep harmonic constructions are more fulsome than those acts (as though Lindsey Buckingham had a hand in the vocal layering). The more delicate tunes can slow your breathing to a sweet glide and the uptempo numbers have you searching for the keys to go driving to that sweet nowhere in particular.
You might imagine yourself listening to the freewheeling clap-along ‘Au Revoir My Darling’ on a coastal cruise in a convertible, but soon enough a troubled homeless soul wanders on to the road, and the story of an oncoming lonely winter takes hold. ‘Wait’, with its ominous warning “Wait til the branches make cracks in the sky,” is one of many shifts in hue and emotional tones which exemplify Celsi’s versatility.
On the delicate “Baby, Is The Circus Back In Town?”, a wayward lover lets it be known that he won’t be hanging around, and for a couple of reasons which the narrator has to swallow. “It’s the painted girls flying high above you/ It’s the men who roll the dice and fill your glass/It’s your tattooed heart trying to take the reins/ Chasing down the circus in your veins.” It’s a beautifully forlorn farewell ballad with story echoes of ‘The Carnival Is Over’, and musical rumours of Angelo Badalamenti
On ‘Travelogue’, the singer cleverly sublimates her own experience of waiting at Heathrow while the Icelandic volcano grounded half the travellers in the world –witness on youtube her ‘fly on the wall’ tour travails- into a metaphor for a troubled relationship: ‘Clouds across the TV set almost made us both forget / we’re flying through a dark cloud of our own …it isn’t quite the trip we planned / it isn’t where we thought we’d land / but isn’t that just like you and me”, with a mid-song vocal interlude worthy of the Zombies.
‘Ghosts in The Room’, and ‘Sank Without A Bubble’ boast Celsi’s fondness for full instrumentation of a late ‘60s flavour with horn and string arrangements, segmented harmonies and piano flourishes. One of her “backing singers” is the already acclaimed Evie Sands, and Matthew Sweet keyboard sideman Carl Byron is another contributor, as well as long time multi-tasking collaborator and Beach Boys band member Nelson, Bragg, so she has some friends who can hit big. The effect on ‘Kaleidoscope Heart’ is as rich as Chocolate Bavarian.
‘Christmas In The Pines’ is lovely country-pop with vocal lines affectionately intertwined, and energetic slide pedal in seasonal celebration. The record concludes with the shuffling rock of ‘Citybird’ which actually made me think of Simon and Garfunkel or Carole King: That understated yet uplifting expertise with harmony.
January is Celsi’s third album. The previous, Tangle-Free World is as good as January and worth investigating particularly for her Dusty Springfield-esque “Now You Can Hurt Me.” Celsi is a slightly unheralded and predictably underrated talent to clear your mind in today’s messy times.

Andrew Gladwin

A Great Month
January is a month of new beginnings, as well as endings, and sometimes a massive post-festive
comedown, but for Anny Celsi's third album, it is one of musical consolidation. There are familiar styles -sunshine pop, country flavored rock -but done with a fresh approach and melodies that sound like instant hits.

Au Revoir, My Darling kicks off the album with a instant classic pop sound that will soon playing over in your head, while Travelogue evokes the romanticism of travel. Ghosts In The Room has a fantastic horn-driven production, while Wait is achingly beautiful and the closer Citybird has country leanings but a great understated pop sound.