reviewed by Elysse Cloma
Annie Sumi is an up-and-coming folk artist based in North Bay, Ontario. Her debut album Reflections is tightly produced. Recorded in North Bay with Juno award nominated producer Ben Leggett (who’s worked with Craig Cardiff), Reflections is a debut that’s bursting with Annie Sumi’s range and tremendous potential.
At 21 years old, Annie Sumi may be Canada’s new folk darling. On top of her sweetheart appearance – a winsome smile that brings out her pronounced dimples, wispy honey-coloured hair – she brings sincerity to her vocal performance, which is strong, vital, and multi-faceted. On Reflections she goes from singing in a soft whisper on some songs, to wailing in high-pitched coos, to bravely belting in a blues style. Regardless of the way she alters her voice, her youthful energy and spirit come across in her recordings.
The diverse offerings on Reflections make for a captivating listening experience, and it’s clear that Annie Sumi has found and honed her sound. Leading with her well-controlled voice and acoustic guitar, her music is tinged with blues and country. With help from some accompanying strings and slide guitar, she tells evocative tales that almost always have a positive and uplifting message. “Wild Things” is an upbeat tune with a catchy chorus and excellent analogies, which celebrate having a free spirit. “Reflections of Me” is a mid-tempo country waltz about self-acceptance and self-love. One standout track on Reflections is “Vandevi”, which sounds like an ambient experimental song. The soundscape is airy and percussive; the guitar plucks quietly as Annie’s voice builds and releases the tense instrumentals, backed by an intense drum solo.
No matter what style, message, or sound of Annie Sumi’s songs, her sweet character and contemplative point of view are delivered all throughout Reflections. Reflections shows us that she’s a young and emerging Canadian talent to look out for.
Top Tracks: “Vandevi”; “Wild Things”
Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent) + *swoop*