Singer-songwriter Annabel Gutherz first made her mark roughly three years ago with “Legends,” designed as a philanthropic effort to support education-centered charities.
Now, after refining her craft at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, she released her debut album, Loose Ends, an 11-track work co-produced by Dominique Messier, a long-time band member for Céline Dion.
Loose Ends compiles together six already-released tracks of Gutherz and introduces five new songs. The title reflects the pattern of life that she and many others have experienced: A lack of closure, memories you continue to recall, and other loose ends that surface on occasion.
Gutherz brings these attributes to life through a personal, diaristic approach and storytelling format that plays her lyrics about life’s imperfections off layered instrumentation and sweet, complex melodies.
Beyond music, Gutherz has already started expanding her imprint, writing a children’s book called Annie’s Pajammies that also supports charities improving education access for children across the globe.
Gutherz had a chance to speak with us about Loose Ends:
Let’s talk about your debut album Loose Ends: How did this release come together?
The release was a culmination of several years’ worth of work and many months’ worth of preparation! The album was “nested” for the longest time, and finally letting it spread its metaphorical wings to fly out into the world, however it may, is such a fulfilling and gratifying experience.
The entire creation and release process continues to fill my heart with nothing but gratitude and love!
Loose Ends contains 11 tracks: Why did you select these specific tracks, and how do they work together?
I chose these specific tracks because there was a common thread (pun intended!) between each of these songs. Specifically, each track communicates an experiential “loose end” whereby I didn’t feel closure.
This commonality created prosody between the songs as they all work together. I also believe that all of these songs are a part of a coming-of-age mosaic, thematically and sonically, and as such, felt like they each had a place on my debut album!
Dominique Messier co-produced Loose Ends. How did you end up working together?
A number of years ago, I worked on a philanthropic musical endeavor known as “Legends,” a song and lyric video whose total proceeds have been donated to education-based charities across Canada.
Dominique produced the song, and the rest is history! He is truly one of the most gifted and brilliant musicians and musical masterminds, and I feel honored to get to work alongside his genius!
Your songwriting style is described as ‘diaristic.’ How do you start writing a song, and what do you pull from?
Prior to the pandemic, I pulled inspiration from personal experiences and introspection, and I typically start writing songs with a lyric and melodic idea from which I build upon.
During the isolation of the pandemic, however, I’ve been pulling inspiration from other peoples’ experiences and art, including movies, TV shows, and books.
You also play guitar and saxophone. How does playing these instruments factor into your songs, be it writing or producing them?
Playing guitar certainly factors into my songs, through both writing and producing. It helps me develop song sections, the harmonic progression of songs, and it is often the most prominent instrument featured in my songs!
You recently finished studying at Berklee College of Music. How did attending Berklee influence or shape you as a songwriter and performer?
Attending Berklee shaped me as a songwriter and performer in so many ways. Berklee changed the way I approach the craft of songwriting, and strengthened my music production, composition, arranging, songwriting, and performance skills, as well!
Berklee was transformational, and I loved it so much that I am in fact pursuing my Master of Arts in Songwriting from Berklee this year!
Your professional career started in 2018 with “Legends,” a song with a philanthropic goal. How did this track become your debut?
“Legends” was a true passion project! I felt that the global community was on the precipice of positive social change, and I wanted to be a part of the change in a measurable and meaningful way.
Drawing inspiration from “We are the World,” I wrote “Legends”!
You also have a children’s book to your credit. What inspired you to write a children’s book?
Similar to “Legends,” I wanted to make a meaningful and measurable impact on the world in a way that was sustainable. Combining my love of pajamas, literacy, storytelling, traveling, and learning about cultures and histories different from my own, I conceptualized Annie’s Pajammies.
The books will soon be sold in conjunction with a corresponding line of pajamas. A portion of the proceeds from every unit sold is donated to help facilitate access to education in the country Annie travels to.
Many artists have started returning to performing. If you’re back to performing live, where should listeners expect to see you before the end of the year?
I’m very COVID cautious, but I’m SO excited to perform live in the near future! Any and all performances will be recorded and shared on my social media pages and YouTube channel!