Overblown Interrogates Annie Booth

annie booth
Photo by Brian Sweeney.

Debut album An Unforgiving Light is out October 20th via Last Night From Glasgow and Scottish Fiction.

Annie comes to us via the tag team of Last Night From Glasgow and Scottish Fiction. Hailing from Edinburgh her debut album is released on 20th October entitled An Unforgiving Light, of which I have been exposed to many but never have brought me much joy unlike this album which I am lucky enough to already be a proud owner of.

On hearing it I had a gut feeling that you get sometimes about a certain artist and that feeling is that this is the start of something mighty! I recommend you listen and then you’ll know exactly what I am on about.

Annie has been kind enough to indulge me in the answering of some of my dopey and not so dopey questions. Yes, I included ‘would you rather’ type questions but they can be so much fun!! Admit it!! Would you rather eat dog food or food that has fallen on the bathroom floor? Oh, the fun of the dilemma.

Ok, off we pop with the questions.

Overblown: How did you feel when you first set eyes on your own record?

Annie Booth: I’ve been using this word a lot lately, but I felt emotional. It was strangely moving to see my album exist in the world as a tangible thing.

Overblown: Do you find the writing process to be somehow cathartic, like an unburdening of emotions?

Annie Booth: Definitely. I find writing songs a great way to make sense of how I’m feeling, even if those feelings are only clear retrospectively. It can also be ultimately quite a calming process. Often the music comes first, with lyrics added gradually once I get an idea of the mood of the song I’m writing.

Overblown: You’ve come up through the open mic circuit and played with your own band before then also joining Mt. Doubt. Do you think stage time has helped build your confidence in your abilities to make music?

Annie Booth: Playing live regularly with a band has certainly helped me become far more comfortable on stage, and I’ve learned lots from Leo and the Mt. Doubt guys. We’ve played some fantastic gigs and been lucky enough to perform in front of some really lovely audiences.

I am still far more nervous though performing my own material than when collaborating with other artists – it feels quite exposed and vulnerable, but often is very rewarding and a different experience altogether. This album is a product of restlessness and wanting to share my newer songs at long last.

Overblown: Have there been any particular hurdles to getting where you are now and where did Scottish Fiction and LNFG enter into the picture?

Annie Booth: I put much of my time and effort over the last few years into university. It still feels worth it though as I had brilliant course mates and lecturers who allowed me to shed a great deal of my self-doubt and presented me with some great opportunities. My anxiousness and sporadic laziness are still probably quite large obstacles.

I met Neil Wilson of Scottish Fiction over a year ago through his work with Mt. Doubt, and met director of LNFG Ian Smith through Neil. Both have been extremely supportive and encouraging from the start.

Overblown: Did you always consider music as a career option? What would plan B have been?

Annie Booth: I’ve always wanted to play and write music/be part of anything to do with it and haven’t stopped. I used to enjoy English, Media Studies and Drama at school so music and songwriting is a nice way to combine them all! I also love and am fascinated by films and their scores, so it would be cool to work on something in that field one day. Making music videos ties into that somewhat.

Overblown: Outside of LNFG who else on the Scottish music scene do you most admire?

Annie Booth: Some acts I admire include Redolent, Hamish Hawk, Lou McClean and Harry and the Hendersons as they all bring something different and distinctive to the scene – same goes for C Duncan and Rachel Sermanni. I really like both the music and independent ethos of labels such as Olive Grove Records and Song, By Toad. I’ve also found in general there’s a really nice network of musicians in Edinburgh who make an effort to support one another. We Were Promised Jetpacks remains one of my favourite Scottish live bands.

Overblown: What would your dream collaboration be?

Annie Booth: That is too difficult to answer with one person. Sara Bareilles, or Thom Yorke, or Guy Garvey, or Jack Steadman, or Conor O’Brien…

Overblown: What would be worse, having someone you respect dislike your music or disliking the music of someone you respect?

Annie Booth: Someone I respect disliking my music. Disliking someone else’s music can’t be helped, and my tastes change so much I may very well like the next thing they do.

Overblown: If you could have one piece of original vinyl what or who would it be?

Annie Booth: Rumours probably. I bet everyone says that.

Overblown: Would you rather lose your voice for two months or lose your favourite guitar forever?

Annie Booth: Would hate to do either, but I’d rather lose my guitar. I could always get another one, and I need my voice for lots of things.

Overblown: Have cult status or world domination?

Annie Booth: Has to be cult status. Couldn’t handle the responsibility of world domination.

Overblown: Have a song covered badly or have a song used in an advert?

Annie Booth: I’d rather have my song used in an advert! Especially if it was promoting cider – I love cider.

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