Heaven in the Distance
Sweet Anne Marie
New Music from Manic Pixie Indie Folk Songstress Sweet Anne Marie
September 1 2023
In between albums, some musicians like to release singles, and occasionally the "EP," which is usually short enough to fit on one side of a record, or just under twenty minutes. I like these little musical interludes, sort of a tease before the next big thing.
Heaven in the Distance is an EP from Sweet Anne Marie, a self-described "Manic Pixie Indie Folk" artist, and a 2023 recipient of Best Solo/Acoustic Act by the Steamtown Music Awards in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Anne Marie has a sweet, breathy voice, and writes songs about the ups and downs of relationships, the uncertainness of possible futures, and life as a young woman in the 21st century. This EP features the new song "I'll Be Fine" along with demos, live tracks, and a reworked version of “Milk and Honey" from her previous album, Parking Lots, Bars, and Falling Stars.
"I'll Be Fine" comes in both finished and demo versions, the demo with sprightly acoustic guitar, while the other version features bass and drums by Anne Marie's husband, Tyler Troutman, who also engineered and produced the album.
"Milk and Honey" is more keyboard oriented here than in its earlier version on Parking Lots, Bars, and Falling Stars, with Anne Marie’s voice wrapped in lush reverb.
"Somewhere in Time" and "Waiting" originally appeared on the album In Time, and here we get the demo tracks—well recorded, simple guitar and vocal, which is all these songs really need.
We also get live versions of "Pine St." and "Signs,” the former of which appeared on Anne Marie’s album In Time. (I’m assuming these were recorded on a phone?) The vocals are a bit lost but you can definitely get a feel for the energy and passion in a live Sweet Anne Marie show.
"Forget the Flowers" is a Wilco cover (available on Bandcamp only) and in my opinion Anne Marie’s version is more honest and less faux country bluegrass than the original.
All in all, Heaven in the Distance is a fine EP, which I'm hoping this means that Sweet Anne Marie is leading up to another album of great songs.
Check out Sweet Anne Marie live if you’re in Pennsylvania, and she'll also be at the Fest in Gainesville, Florida on October 27-29.
A Selection of Sweet Anne Marie Links:
Roy Peak has played electric bass in more bands than he cares to remember for more years than he can remember. He wrote the theme song for the Utica, New York radio show "Hey You Kids, Get Off My Lawn" on WPNR-FM. His solo debut album, All Is Well, has been called "Loud, cacophonous, and beautiful by a truly unique artist." His short fiction has been published in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and he writes music reviews for the King Tut Vintage Album Museum of Jacksonville. Roy writes music reviews for the Rocking Magpie among others. Check him out on bandcamp.com