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“I’d much rather sing about myself than talk about myself,” says local singer/songwriter Annalise Curtin. Although the folk-pop-leaning singer and guitarist hails from the area, after the release of her 2013 debut [and only] LP, Battle Against Me, Curtin relocated to [and honed her skills in] Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Seattle. However, in 2018 she returned to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. During a recent phone chat, Curtin tells me that since her return she’s been writing new music, collaborating with other artists (“I’ve been really looking to explore co-writing recently.”), and reacquainting herself with the city’s live music scene (“This summer I’ve been playing like three shows a month.”) And she tells me, so far, it’s been going very well: “The last years of being back in Philly things have been really taking off.” Recently, Annalise Curtin has found herself collaborating with Gypsy Jazz band Manouche 5, playing classics, which has enabled her to explore her vocal abilities (“I love guitar but I feel like I can sing much better when I’m not playing guitar.”); local indie rockers Readership (“Future Perfect” and “Bleeding Hearts); hip hop producer Aaron Ruiz (“Me Without You” and “Stories”); and Canadian musician Philippe Goulet Coulombe, better known as Philippe Gc (“Snowland”). She even found herself in her first TV placement, appearing on a song in Danish show Being 29, during a particularly uplifting scene: “I got hired to sing harmony on a song, ‘Begin With You,’ written by Robbie Hancock. It played during an engagement scene.” Curtin admits to being a big fan of a lot of longstanding Philadelphia institutions, such as Dobbs, Johnny Brenda’s, Kung Fu Necktie, and the Pharmacy, but admits she’s still finding her footing in the city’s current scene: “I’m just starting to learn some of the cool places in Philly, because I was gone for a while and am just getting to know the city again.” She is finding herself enjoying a certain type of venue, though: “I just played Lightbox Cafe, which is a cute café on 4th in South Philly… I like playing in cafes for a solo gig, for that genre.” Annalise, however, does have an upcoming gig at a much larger café, and a place that she considers herself to be a home of sorts: “World Café Live is how I met all of my friends. In 2011 I was waiting in line to play open mic, hosted by Boy Wonder.”On Thursday, July 7th, Annalise Curtin will be playing alongside LA-based ‘90s-alt-rock-meets-Americana duo Guyville and local rockers Pillow Princess at The Lounge at World Café Live. When I ask her what can be expected of her live set, she tells me, “I am louder than you’d think, is what I always hear [laughs],” before going on to further explain, “I do a lot of fingerpicking because I grew up playing violin. It’s called noodling, which I learned… You can expect me to be picking folk guitar, but I get loud and rocking sometimes, too.” And, in terms of her sound, Curtin tells me, “I get compared to what Regina Spektor does, a mix of folk and rock.” Annalise Curtin is currently in school for “veterinary technician stuff,” but tells me that she has a lot more planned for her music in 2022: “I really want to do a tour… I wanna do more TV placements, do more collaborations, record more music… This year is new music, exploring new genres, and maybe getting a band.” She also tells me that she considers her music to be the most significant way that she expresses herself. “Music is therapy. Art has a way of getting access to an unconscious part of your brain and songwriting has been very much a guide in life. It’s the whole thing about music being universal. It is the way I socialize. I can go anywhere and play music.”” - Izzy Cihak


With her unique, powerful voice and the gentle strum of her guitar, Philly-based songstress Annalise Curtin has once again captivated us with one of her most vulnerable releases to date. “Heading Out Soon” dives deep into Curtin’s processing of her own relationships. The raw indie-acoustic tune is an introspective look at the ways our independence becomes compromised in ill-fated relationships, with Curtin taking account of her own personal battle in that realm. “This song is both exciting and honestly embarrassing to share. This one was especially tough to come to terms with, as it showed me how much my relationship affected me. I lost my independence completely with him, and lost the trust I had in others. Now, I’m coming to terms with the fact that I am the reason why things don’t work out,” Curtin said. “I was comforting a friend through a recent breakup, and we got talking about how it’s hard to accept that people can take a part of you with them. It can be hard to not resent that. The innocence you lost, or perhaps you were happier before them. I realized that I lost my trust in people after my breakup.” The single — which Curtin calls her most personal song since 2013’s “Battle” — was recorded with Mattie Klauser, who laid down the bass line on “Heading Out Soon.” Rounding things out was Nolee Morris, whose gentle percussion drives the track forward, while allowing the listener room to digest its message. “It is so hard to admit that you don’t want to go through life alone. It is also hard to realize you are the one pushing others away,” Curtin said. “In my last attempt at some sort of connection, I realized I was terrified of them and was completely afraid to trust them. But it didn’t matter, because they weren’t staying anyway, and I actually found that comforting. ” - Gerard Longo

Underground Music Collective

Have you ever felt a fear of falling in love? That’s what happens after you leave a long-term relationship, and enter the dating wilderness with a freshly broken heart and newfound sense of independence. Also, that’s what is reflected on “Falling,” the new single from Annalise Curtin. “This song is about my journey of re-entering the world after being in a relationship for most of my adult life. This song is acknowledging the fear I have of falling in love again, and at the same time, knowing that it is inevitable,” Curtin explains. “The line, ‘I don’t want you if you can’t be mine’ speaks to my fear of falling for someone who will never fall for me. Basically, I’m terrified of love now. I feel this is a shared struggle among many old and young. However, heartbreak helps you know yourself on a deeper level. Recording of this gentle, rainy day folk ballad started in January 2020 at TribeSound Records in West Chester, PA. Production was then put on hold throughout the pandemic, before resuming this summer under the care of producer Chris Cotter.” - Gerard Longo

Underground Music Collective

Amid the sticky city heat, snow days seem like nothing but a dream. However, Annalise Curtin and Philippe Goulet Coulombe (Philippe Gc) released an icy new track this week called “Snowland.” The song is the product of a long-distance collaboration between the two, with Curtin in Philadelphia and Coulombe in Montreal. Having prophetic visions of a future that seems like something only Orwell could come up with, the track is full of unease. A breathless intensity cloaks the whole ordeal as Curtin warbles about an apocalyptic America. Her strong vibrato and Coulombe’s Eliminator-era ZZ-Top guitar work seem to be foreshadowing inevitable doom. Freezing and fierce the duo makes the distance completely irrelevant as their undeniable chemistry is automatically evident” - Samantha Sullivan

The Key

It’s not often that you are fortunate enough to hear truly interesting music these days.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love bass thumping, hard hitting, aggressive rap just as much as the next guy, er girl in my case.  But every now and then I want a quiet guitar and soul stirring voice to reach down deep and still the noise of the world just a bit.And in walks Annalise Curtin.  Don’t let her tiny stature fool you.  At under 5′ feet tall, and a disarmingly youthful face that makes you wonder if she’s reached voting age, this young woman is a powerhouse of a performer.  Armed with a guitar that seems gigantically disporportioned  in her arms, Annalise’s melodic songs are something akin to Damien Rice meets Feist with a touch of young Bob Dylan.  Her guitar sings, her songwriting  thought provoking, and her voice absolutely one of kind.” - Lori Foxworth

I look forward to enjoying future performances from Annalise. From what I remember, her personal style of music delivery was unadorned, yet carefully layered and composed.I felt compelled to capture Annalise, due to her captivating, stripped-down musical performance, and due to her pensive stage presence, which complemented her musical selections quite well.” - Solomon Noah Feitelson