It’s a compliment, but Annie Lynch still seems surprised when told that her new album sounds underproduced.
Her first two releases under the name Annie and the Beekeepers — a full-length and an EP in 2008 and 2009, respectively — were unvarnished snapshots of an artist coming into her own. They were endearingly rough around the edges.
“My Bonneville,” released over the summer, suggests she’s finally hitting her stride as a graceful songwriter who moves easily in and out of bucolic folk, dusky country, and breezy pop. Even her voice has matured, now supple enough to put across her lyrics that touch on everything from longing for a lover to the joy of a road trip.
“It’s funny you say that because compared to our other releases, it’s definitely the most produced,” says Lynch, who brings her band to Café 939 on Saturday. “With the other ones we went in and worked with producers and tried to re-create a live sound. Whereas with this one we really let the recording and arranging be part of the creative process.”
Lynch was raised on Cape Cod, in Harwich, and left at 17 to attend Berklee College of Music. “I’ve grown up most of my adult life in Massachusetts, and I’m damn proud of it,” she says. (Her cell number is proof: She’s still got a 508 area code.)
After college she landed in New York, her current home, where Annie and the Beekeepers finally took flight. Working with producer Dan Molad on “My Bonneville,” Lynch and her bandmates — including bassist Jeni Magana, multi-instrumentalist Andrew Michael Burri, and drummer Javier Cruz — have a palpable chemistry. “In the Water,” a duet between Lynch and Burri, singing in unison, is modeled after the way Gillian Welch and David Rawlings sometimes sing in the same range.
Lynch has performed on her own, but she ends up missing what a backing band contributes, namely vocal harmonies and the exchange of musical ideas. She says in the three years since her last album, the band’s growth is more than apparent.
“The main thing I hear is that with the other two albums, there was definitely a lot of rehearsing ahead of time,” Lynch says. “I was playing with the original Beekeepers and playing the songs quite a bit before recording them. There was an established sound before we recorded them.
“With ‘My Bonneville,’ the [new] band formed around the album,” she adds. “When I had enough songs to put on an album and had a vision for it, the musicians formed around that project and the arrangements did, too. I think you can hear that on this album.”
After a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised close to $141,000, legendary folk musician Tom Rush is resurrecting the fabled Symphony Hall shows he did in the early 1980s. On Dec. 28, Rush will share the stage with friends Nanci Griffith, Jonathan Edwards, Buskin & Batteau, Trevor Veitch, and Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Tickets are now on sale at www.bso.org and 888-266-1200. . . . Anyone who has experienced the hurricane Aly Spaltro unleashes as Lady Lamb the Beekeeper knew it was only a matter of time before she signed to a label. And she finally did. Spaltro, a Maine native now residing in Brooklyn, N.Y., recently announced that her next album, “Ripely Pine,” will come out in February on Ba Da Bing Records. Lady Lamb comes to Brighton Music Hall on Wednesday with Kaki King. . . . Speaking of new label homes, local country-rockers Juliet and the Lonesome Romeos recently signed to Nashville’s Tree O Records, which
will release “No Regrets,” the band’s debut, on
James Reed can be reached at email@example.com.