Annie Hart: A Softer Offering review – a work of sophisticated intimacy
A Softer Offering
Instant Records/Self released
Singer / Songwriter
Annie Hart suggests that her second solo record is “a soundtrack for painting or lying in the grass”, and it certainly emanates a reflective atmosphere that curls around itself and the nine compositions.
As one third of Au Revoir Simone, Hart is synonymous with her use of analogue synths, but A Softer Offering expands the musical palette. Elements of Dory Previn clamber into Wilderness Hill, and Phoenicia No Coffee, with their sparse, intriguing beauty. Longing to Care Less is a wistful wallflower at the disco, just waiting to be asked to dance by a brilliant 1980’s school-set drama. Wandering Free begins with Hart sighing or exhaling, with the song caught somewhere between the two – it is an affecting piece, amplified by delicate guitar.
Don’t Breathe For Me sways amid a subtle beat and electric guitar, and is complemented by the instrumental Stillness, and Clean Floors, which pares things back. Embrace the New Age and The Paper Pull really showcase Hart’s gorgeous voice, situating us in a comforting space to consider the chaos of this world, and in doing so, she has built a compelling record of loving, sophisticated intimacy.