I first came across Ana Egge with the release of her rather wonderful ‘White Tiger’ album back in 2018. Her voice is immediately distinctive; soft, and yet compelling, drawing the listener into her insightful takes on the world. The album was one that really grew and bore fruit with repeated listening.
The following year’s ‘Is It The kiss’, was a chance for the artist to expand that sound, always in the knowledge that her beguiling voice would be the bedrock.
With ‘Between Us’, we find a much more immediate and fuller sound, that results in an artist already producing work of remarkably high consistency, making the best album of her career to date.
The bold brass announcement of ‘Wait A Minute’ produces an opening gambit for the album:
Wait a minute, baby slow down. Why won’t you give me more time? Wait a minute, baby slow down. Why won’t you let me make my mind?
It’s a soulful introduction to an album full of hooks, and melodies that linger long after.
Nine of the eleven songs were co-written with Irish songwriter Mick Flannery. Due to the pandemic, writing was done via video calls but proved fruitful and a natural alliance. Flannery’s next album will also include some of these collaborations.
The album explores the space between us in relationships and vying for an acceptance that while blame may be appropriated in a breakdown, it takes two to work at making a relationship work.
‘You Hurt Me’ is a fragile essay into the damage done:
I don’t want to talk to you. All the things you said left me to wondering what I did. You hurt me. A few things happened I guess. You moved, I stayed, you worked, I played. And we faded away. I should have seen it coming. I guess a knife in the back is always like that.
‘Heartbroken Kind’ lifts the mood in melody at least but the lyrics once again examine the relationship motif that runs throughout the album. Songs such as ‘Sorry’, ‘Want Your Attention’, and ‘Be The Drug’ continue to offer insights, over changing sonic backgrounds that Ana seems to revel in.
Bruised and abusive relationships figure in ‘Don’t Come Around’ and the pointed social commentary of ‘Lie, Lie, Lie’:
It gave her comfort, the drinking did. Just like the smoking. That’s what she said. She’d cover for him. He didn’t mean it. He’s not a racist. He’s only joking.
But without doubt, the most affecting song on this album is the moving elegiac ‘We Lay Roses’, written for her nephew.
‘Between Us’ is is an album that moves the artist on to fresh territory sonically but retains her essential lyrical prowess. Ana Egge is an artist that refuses to stand still. Indeed, the only thing that remains constant is the stellar consistency of her output.