British Country singer-songwriter Anna Howie releases her debut album ‘The Friday Night Club’ today (March 25).
The album features 11 original songs, some were penned in (and about) time spent in Nashville, others were inspired by family and friends, or based on the strange and lonely time of lockdown. These songs muse on the nature of life and love.
‘Angels Among Us’ is about finding inspiration in the actions of good people during the pandemic. By contrast, ‘Peas’ is about the experience of being hit on by a much younger man, the title coming from her husband wryly pointing out that there were things in their freezer older than the ambitious individual concerned! Shot through with her trademark flair for a turn of phrase and leavened with humour, in the Country tradition, will this track be the one that brings her to a wider audience? All we are saying is give ‘Peas’ a chance! There’s an album launch show at The Bedford, London on 31 March.
Though the album was already planned, ‘The Friday Night Club’ was born in lockdown. Anna initially used the online sessions as a way of keeping on playing, but also have an audience to try out her new material on. As a performer who relishes that connection that comes only from playing in a room to a live audience, Anna was initially reluctant. The feedback kept her going however, and she ended up doing 28 sessions in a row. Those shows eventually garnered nearly two million views! As Anna says herself, she accidentally created a community.
Anna had initially planned to go back to Nashville to make this album. She had previously spent time in Music City, taking in a songwriting camp with legendary writer Gretchen Peters and also recording her last EP ‘An Idiot’s Guide to Love’, which was produced by Grammy Award Winning Producer/ Guitarist Bob Britt. ‘A Bird Sings In Nashville’ which features on this album was literally written on a Nashville porch swing seat! However, with Covid making travel impossible, Anna was delighted to be able to team up with super-talented producer and multi-instrumentalist Lukas Drinkwater. She created ‘The Friday Night Club’ over a period of six months at his Polyphonic Studio in the UK.
Anna Howie says of the album “Throughout the strangest of times, music remains at the heart of bringing people together, ‘The Friday Night Club’ is for all those amazing people who rocked up to sing with me at 6:30 on a Friday”.
The release of ‘The Friday Night Club’ will be marked with a special live show at The Bedford in London on 31 March. In the same month, Anna will be undertaking a UK ‘songwriters’ round’ tour in the company of fellow Americana artists My Girl The River and Kate Ellis.
As these forthcoming shows – and indeed the success of the online sessions – prove, Anna Howie is a songwriter and performer who is able to connect with her audience. During those dark lockdown days, she kept Google Translate busy reading the messages that poured in from all over the world. ‘The Friday Night Club’ is an album with heart, humour and heft – one that repays listening any day of the week.