Annie Dressner was born into a New York City family with a rich musical background. Her grandparents met when they were both working in radio. Her parents were also very musical, and instilled a love for piano in both Dressner and her brother from an early age. She also spent some time playing the violin in her youth, but it wasn’t until after high school when she took it upon herself to learn guitar, using her father’s Simon & Garfunkel guitar tablature book as a guide.
It was this decision that would change her life forever, leading her to where she now lives in the United Kingdom, and the release of two well-received albums and an EP, which received rave reviews from Daytrotter, No Depression, PopDose, Folk Radio UK, and many more. Her straightforward lyrical style, sharp ear for wordplay, and crisp-yet-lilting vocals offer listeners a front-row seat to her stories. Her music has drawn comparisons to an up-tempo Mazzy Star or an understated Jenny Lewis.
From her debut Strangers Who Knew Each Other’s Names, her EP East Twenties and her second full-length Broken Into Pieces, produced by Nigel Stonier (Thea Gilmore), Dressner has taken her experience in musical theater and morphed into an acclaimed singer-songwriter, her music delivered with a conversational ease that often seems as if she is reading from an intimate letter set to music.
“They’re like letters you write but don’t send,” explains Dressner, laughing, “except I publish them.”
Now she returns wielding Coffee at the Corner Bar (September 4th), an album consisting of her most accomplished collection of songs to date. Along with a set of new original music, the album includes a cover of The Magnetic Fields’ “The Book of Love” and a co-write with Matthew Caws of Nada Surf. Produced by Dressner’s husband, Paul Goodwin (an accomplished singer-songwriter in his own right), and mixed by Louie Lino (Resonate Music, Nada Surf) in Austin, Texas, the new album is a collection of beautiful, nostalgic indie-folk songs about romance, grief, and self-reflection — from opening track “Nyack” recounting childhood visits to the upstate New York village, to “Pretend,” a musing on a failed romance in Hamburg, Germany where she lived as a 22-year-old au pair, to “Losing You” which unpacks the grief she felt over the loss of her mother — Dressner documents a vibrant life filled to the brim with enriching experiences, and shares these deeply introspective stories through brutally honest yet accessible songs.
Always writing from first-hand experience, Dressner hesitates to share the people her songs are directly written about in order to shield them from embarrassment and herself from backlash. The songs are filled with both distinct detail and universal feelings about betrayal, love, frustration, and loss. The stories take on a life of their own, each one an invitation to be tried on and lived in by the listener.
Since moving to the United Kingdom, Dressner has performed at the Green Man Festival, Secret Garden Party, Cambridge Folk Festival, Cluny2, O2 Academy Islington, Norwich Arts Centre, Cambridge Junction, Night & Day among countless other venues and has shared stages with the likes of The East Pointers, Polly Paulusma, Irish Mythen, and Ezio.
Dressner’s songs have received considerable airplay on a slew of BBC radio stations. Her song “Fly” can be heard in the trailer music for the upcoming indie film Drive Me to the End directed by Richard Calvert (Crucible Films). While she has seen steady success in the United Kingdom, Coffee at the Corner Bar sees Dressner poised to break out on the singer-songwriter scene at an international level.
“‘Midnight Bus’, is unsuspecting, grungy folk that wouldn’t feel remiss in the songbooks of Phoebe Bridgers or Elliott Smith, but it’s Dressner’s own.” – PopMatters
“With a palpable cynicism, Annie Dressner crafts perfect rainy day coffeehouse songs.” – Americana Highways
“Dressner’s ability to fit such deeply personal sentiments into songs that are universally relatable is another testament to her talents as a songwriter.” – American Songwriter
“A striking collage of voices that rekindle the rainy day indie of Aimee Mann and Beth Orton.” – Glide Magazine
“Low key one of the best pop releases of 2020.” – Paste Magazine