Almost exactly two years after their acclaimed debut album, Be He Me, Annuals will finally be releasing their sophomore album, Such Fun, on October 7th, through Canvasback Music. The album was recorded throughout the band's home state of North Carolina, and co-produced by Annuals frontman Adam Baker and producer Jacquire King (Modest Mouse, Tom Waits.) Such Fun lives up to its name, embracing a vast landscape of musical richness, combining Adam's accomplished songcraft with an instrumental palate that is even more blindingly colorful than their previous work. Straddling the line between epic post-rock, pop-rock guitar crunch, woozy country swings and lovely orchestral ballads, Such Fun is revelatory in its depth.
Opener "Confessor" packs a killer, harmony-filled chorus layered with sweeping strings and keyboard droplets before the album moves into the head-nod mediation of "Hot Night Hounds," the first song written for this record. "Down the Mountain" marries a drum-and-fiddle-filled jaunt with dancing polyrhythmic electric guitars, while "Always Do" is a smoldering swoon, dripping with slide guitar and a bursting crescendo chorus. Closing track "Wake" blossoms with bold, cinematic strings and promises of new beginnings, the perfect uplifting end to a perfectly crafted album that sees Annuals reaching to the farthest parts of their musical imaginations and coming back with something incredible.
Be He Me was released when band members - Adam Baker (songwriter/vocals), Kenny Florence (lead guitar/backing vocals), Mike Robinson (bass/backing vocals), Anna Spence (keyboard/piano/backing vocals), Zack Oden (drums/guitar) and Donzel Radford (drums/percussion) -- were all around the age of nineteen. Critics (everyone from Rolling Stone to the New York Times to the NME) and fans alike fell instantly for the young band's expansive, energetic sound, igniting a frenzy amongst bloggers that has shown no signs of slowing down. Tours with Bloc Party, The Flaming Lips and an appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien ensued, but in the pockets of downtime, Annuals secretly began to work on their newest creation, Such Fun. Adam's influences - Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, Paul Simon - all melted together with his own sharply-honed melodic sensibilities as he wrote, depicting themes of loneliness, loss, and the organic world. The result is a record that is fully, electrifyingly alive, maintaining the breadth of Annuals' scope while taking their sound in brilliant new directions.