Anna Tivel

REVIEW: Anna Tivel “Outsiders”


Anna Tivel has crafted another brilliantly imaginative paradise of songs on her new album Outsiders, due to be released August 19 by Mama Bird Recording Co. The album was produced by Shane Leonard; engineered and mixed by Brian Joseph; mastered by Huntley Miller; with all songs written by Anna Tivel.

The early released title track, “Outsiders,” is a open and spacious: “imagine the very first man on the moon, watching the Earth rise … hundreds of thousands of miles away the endless expanse of a dream… pausing the burning of cities to say ‘we are beautiful when we believe.’”

“Black Umbrella” starts out a meditative musing on walking in the rain in an anonymous town, “keeping to yourself…looking like a stranger in your older brother’s coat…” and then things take a turn as you’re witnessing a holdup and shooting, and then things really take a nosedive for the worst. “Astrovan” is a raw song of the unsure footing that falling in love holds.  

“Two Dark Horses” is quintessential Tivel — “just appearing, early morning fog” and the nostalgic, slightly foreboding imagery springs to life.  Car engines overheating, barbed wire fences, horses running faster, the sun rising and we can only hope the scene ends well.  

With “Royal Blue,” it becomes apparent that Tivel is, after all, a painter of images with her words and music.  “Emily I cannot be alone… something inside me is full of … bullet holes.”   War, anxiety, and clinging to love like a life ring.   “The Basement” — “sweet disbeliever you’ll never change”  — is a quiet song of twisted regrets.  

Musicians on the album are Ben Lester on tack piano; Courtney Hartman on electric guitar; Jeremy Boettcher on bass; Shane Leonard on drums, percussion, and Hammond S6; and Anna Tivel on acoustic guitar and vocals.

This is a powerful introspective vivid dreamscape, another winner in the Tivel collection. Check out our review of her earlier album here: REVIEW: Anna Tivel “Blue World”

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