Anne McCue breaks 8 year drought with inspired psychedelic pop folk ride:
Wholly Roller Coaster
Anne McCue emerges from what she calls her ‘Lost Octade’ with an album inspired by all things London in 1967, naming albums such as Magical Mystery Tour (Beatles), Something Else By The Kinks, Fairport Convention and Piper’s At The Gates Of Dawn (Pink Floyd.)
While these albums may have been the catalyst, listeners may also detect a hint of Eno or XTC as they take a ride on this sonic and poetic journey. "The album might be described as psychedelic pop-folk with a hint of rock. Or perhaps you could say that it's a pop album with psychedelic folk-rock tendencies," says Anne.
“As a listener, I’ve been in a psychedelic pop phase for quite a few years now so it was bound to spill over into my creative realm. During the pandemic I limewashed my house with a paintbrush wearing my best headphones and just listening in solitude to music on and off for months. These were some of my most peaceful days on this planet. I listened to 7 Pink Floyd albums in one day starting from their first. I didn’t even get up to Dark Side of the Moon. I’m more interested in their earlier stuff.”
“Having just spent years with not only writer’s block but also reader’s block, when these new songs started coming in I was both elated and relieved,” says Anne. “I went back to my old methods of writing - recording as I go - so that the recording process is part of the writing process. I’m fortunate to be able to record at home which is where most of the album was recorded.”
The melodies often come to Anne in dreams. “Someone in the dream is singing the song and I have to push myself to wake up and record the melody into my device,” says Anne, “then I can go back to sleep. Sometimes I’ll hear a sound in my head and I’ll have to work out how to create it, such as the sound in the bridge on the song The Years. I had to use a bouzouki, a banjo and harpsikordia to get that sound. The whole idea is to hear music and write it down or record it. It’s important to me that the songs are truly inspired as opposed to some kind of formulaic write, play, repeat. That’s another reason it’s been so long between albums. I’ve been waiting patiently for the song gods and goddesses to once again grace me with their splendour. You might think eight years is a long time between drinks - yes it is!” she says.
One of the things Anne did in the break between inspirations was produce other artists - Emma Swift, Scott Miller, Ellen Starski & Jesse Correll and she played guitar with other artists, most notably Robyn Hitchcock. Anne was brought in to be the duelling guitarist on Mr. Hitchcock’s eponymous album of 2017. He described Anne as “A wonderful songwriter, guitarist… You can hear her intricate and imaginative Aquarian guitar on my latest LP and of course, on her own albums.”
Hitchcock went on to tweet about Anne, “The sublime @annemccue performing her passionate, humane songs at the 5 Spot in East Nashville, whilst giving a masterclass in the electric guitar. She’s so damn good, it's a thrill to experience her close-up like this.”
Anne is host of the radio show Songs On The Wire on Nashville's WXNA and hails from Sydney, Australia. She is the Nashville correspondent for Rhythms Magazine.
Joseph Lekkas, Bonfire Touring
Photos by Ward Weems