EP Walkthrough: Annie Bass opens up about her emotionally-driven debut EP, Control
A dreamy collection of emotionally captivating tracks, Control calls on Annie Bass to show a side of her that is lyrically honest and vulnerable.
Header photo by Daisy Clementine.
There’s something powerful behind her music that has a way to captivate listeners and make us feel something. Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Melbourne, Annie Bass, sings like she’s pleading through whispers, drawing us in and making us feel like what is being sung is too private for our own ears. Control, out today, is her debut six-track EP and gives an insight into how busy she has been since we last caught up with her. Bass has been producing in collaboration with names such as Kito, John Lee and Matt Colton, travelling from Melbourne to Sydney to Los Angeles and creating heartfelt tracks like In Your Arms, which was released earlier this year and gave us a taste of what the EP will sound like. She’s grown up writing, performing and finessing her talents from such a young age and finds inspiration from the likes of Nina Simone, John Coltrane and James Blake and when you delve into her music, it’s easy to see why. There’s a slight eeriness and melancholic sound that comes from her productions and can be reflective of these artists, making it clear that they’ve inspired her to create such a thought-provoking debut EP.
Annie Bass has done like most artists and has incorporated her own relationships, experiences and situations into making Control, however for a debut, it’s impressive and inspiring. She calls on vulnerable and real moments, which is essentially what makes this album so honest and attractive. “Control was written when I felt alone, and writing music was the only contribution I had to give to myself or anyone else,” she says. “When you’re in that lonely place it doesn’t matter who loves you, or if you love yourself. But I still needed to write and make music. For a long time, it was really the only thing I had.”
Annie Bass has familiarised herself with many major Aussie festivals like Splendour in the Grass, Groovin The Moo, Falls Festival and Bigsound and is ready to share this new exciting chapter of her music career through Control. Check out what has driven her to create such an open and honest debut EP below.
In Your Arms
When I look back on the last few years, I wonder where I would be without some of the amazing people in my life. I was going through (probably) one of the darkest times of my life. In the weeks before I wrote this song my life was falling apart: my job, my home, my relationships, so I hit the self-destruct button—hard. I was on the phone to my sister (as usual) and I remember being mean to her, I hadn’t been sleeping or eating, and I didn’t care much about anything. In that moment she said to me, “just so you know, you’re not alone”. I wrote the chorus of this song as a promise to her. That night I must have sung it 1000 times.
Dating in the age of social media is a peculiar thing. Again and again, I let insecurities dictate the fate of a new relationship before it really had a chance. And now the whole thing was played out on my Instagram. Why is there an obsession with presenting such a well-curated, and sometimes un-real version of ourselves—and how long can we keep up the charade?
I had been revelling in the first few weeks of a new relationship—like nothing I had even known before. I felt loved and adored for the first time ever. The complicated thing about keeping secrets is they make you lie even when you don’t really want to. I so badly wanted to be honest about my past, but I couldn’t bring myself to verbalise it or say it out loud. I felt like I was stuck: tell the truth and risk losing someone I love, or keep my secrets safe where they couldn’t hurt anyone else.
There were a lot of ‘firsts’ in my first serious relationship: first love, first betrayal, first time I felt trapped. I shared things about myself that I hadn’t shared before and the way they reacted was a nightmare. Was it a healthy relationship? No. But it was the first time I had connected to anyone so intimately. After a trauma in my late teens I was a bit broken, my strength as a woman had been taken away. Slowly I got that feeling back, and I would do (and forgive) just about anything to keep it that way. It’s bizarre what we will sacrifice to avoid being alone.
For much of my life, I felt like I was on the outside. There were times I would do almost anything to fit in—to live life on the other side of the glass. Perhaps it’s just the human condition, to crave acceptance, but I was looking for acceptance in all the wrong places. After years of abuse, it has been my physical self that has suffered most. I didn’t know it at the time but this is an apology I wrote to myself.
This song is half-apology, half pep-talk. I have learnt, and believe that nothing good comes without sacrifice. I move around a lot and my determination to be in the music industry often comes first. For a long time, I put music before everything: relationships, happiness and probably my own well-being. Sometimes it still feels this way, but let’s call it a work in progress.