Actor has its share of tracks that could work in a late night context, but you can’t blame Annie for returning to the song that was so strong on Letterman that Ted Leo demanded we post it. (Also he demanded that because he was scared he would fall asleep. Anyway.) It was strong, and it’s a smart showcase for what Annie brings when in her element live, with its off-beat vocal melody, an airy passage where she can unleash those eyes on the crowd, weird guitar chord inversions, and that “H-E-L-P” chorus which, with its syncopated arpeggios and machine gun sax, strikes like a tweaked-out/blog-approved Dave Matthews Band. (Relax, those guys could play, and yes they did sound like that.) The night after Letterman I saw her play a show at Bell House where, for my first time, I saw her have an entire crowd eating out of her hand start to finish. So Annie plus singers/horns/band making swift work of “Marrow” on Kimmel last night reminded me of all that, and that’s a good thing.
Actor is out via 4AD.