Sound Advice: Anna Nalick with Kathryn Dean

Thursday • Live! at the Ludlow Garage

click to enlarge Anna Nalick
Anna Nalick

In 2005, Anna Nalick was poised to take her rightful place within the rich tradition of emotion-laden X-chromosome Pop Rock balladeers, including forebears like Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos and contemporaries like Sara Bareilles and Colbie Caillat.

Just two years before, Nalick had put her college career on hold to explore her childhood dream of making music; through a professor, she met a fellow student with parents in the music industry who helped distribute her demo tape, which she’d made on her Rainbow Brite cassette recorder.

At 19, Nalick met Blind Melon founders Christopher Thorn and Brad Smith, who had gone into production, and Tori Amos’ producer Eric Rosse. After signing a Columbia contract, Nalick, her producers and a handful of noted session musicians, including Lyle Workman and Matt Chamberlain, set about making Nalick’s debut album, 2005’s gold-certified Wreck of the Day. The album’s first single, “Breathe (2AM),” was an immediate smash, eventually notching three-times platinum sales figures; the song surged again a year later when it appeared in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Nalick went on to win the AC Female Artist of the Year at the New Music Awards, beating odds-on favorite Sheryl Crow.

In early 2008, Nalick teased her sophomore album with the Shine EP, but the album was shelved after a label dispute; she married later in the year and took a two-year sabbatical. In 2010, Nalick announced her return through Facebook and debuted the song “The Lullaby Singer” on her website. Broken Doll & Odds & Ends was released in 2011 on Nalick’s newly formed Nyctograph label. That same year, Nalick took acting and creative writing classes at UCLA, read voraciously and tried her hand at co-writing for other artists, apparently an unsatisfying experience by her own account.

Most recently, Nalick has teamed with to fund her new album, At Now, and to preview an excellent new song, “Aura.” She’s been touring consistently over the past two years and playing at least some of the songs planned for inclusion on At Now, which she describes as a genre-bending collection.

Although fate has conspired to keep Anna Nalick out of the spotlight for a decade, her talent and passion will return her to center stage and, like the titles of her songs, she will breathe and shine.

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