Brooke Annibale was one of those musicians. She started writing songs in third grade, began guitar lessons at 14, and grew up watching her dad work as a sound engineer and her grandfather run a successful music store. She is a musician who knew from a very young age that music could translate into a real, workable job, and took the steps to get herself to that point. Consider: She released her debut album called Memories in Melody at 17. Then she attended Nashville’s esteemed Belmont University, pursued a degree in Music Business, and stuck around that city for six years laboring toward music as business. She released two more albums during that time, most notably 2011’s Silence Worth Breaking, placing songs on One Tree Hill (“Yours And Mine“), Pretty Little Liars (“Silence Worth Breaking“), and The Vampire Diaries (“You Don’t Know“). Despite this success — business success — Annibale needed to be somewhere else. She moved back home to Pittsburgh.
Returning to her hometown, she was able to attain the work-life balance that Nashville simply didn’t afford. It was there, plugged back into her roots and tucked away from the glitz and bustle of country music’s capital, that she settled into a groove. And you can hear that fullness, that balance in her new music immediately. (Try “Patience” below, for starters). Traveling back and forth between Pittsburgh and Nashville to record her new, fourth full-length The Simple Fear at Paul Moak’s studio the Smoakstack with tried and true collaborator Justin March. On this record though, you can hear a settling that wasn’t there in the music she released four years ago. All the gorgeous fingerpicking and incisive lyrics are the same, but there’s a quicksilver rhythm here, and a quiet resolve has developed. Debuting via Paper today, Annibale’s new album sounds cohesive and wise; her spectacular alto gleams on songs like “All Over Again” or world-weary opener “Like The Dream Of It.” Life is strange, what feels like failure is often a wave of success that simply hasn’t crested yet. On The Simple Fear, Annibale has reached her peak. Stream the album below.
The Simple Fear is out 10/2.