Since moving to Seattle and the release of her 2011 demo Dirty

Since moving to Seattle and the release of her 2011 demo Dirty

Since moving to Seattle and the release of her 2011 demo Dirty Hearts and Broken Dishes, Virginia native Annie Ford has steadily orbited Seattle’s country scene, playing shows with a range of local country artists and bands like Kristen Ward, Ganges River Band, Country Lips, the Swearengens, and Davidson Hart Kingsbery.

Her clean, clear vocals—somewhere between Blacklisted-era Neko Case’s and Zooey Deschanel’s—are a fine addition to any bill, not to mention her sharp skills behind an array of instruments, including viola, accordion, banjo, piano, guitar, and clarinet. A like-minded spread of sounds informs this fine debut; its 11 tracks explore an expanse of Western swing, country, Americana, folk, and roots-rock styles.

This collection includes her demo’s title track and another of its songs, “Northern Rain,” but Ford’s heartwarming songbird vocals are at their best in ballad mode, particularly on opener “Both Sides” and the tender “My Brother.” Aided by a capable ensemble including Olie Eshleman’s twangtastic, astral-planing pedal steel and Matthew Manges’ restrained harmonies, this release is a great introduction to an artist whose songwriting, as her bio reads, maintains “a deep connection to the inner workings of the heart.”


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