Coming from the American Midwest, Anne Stine delivers some of the emotions one might feel while sitting under the open indie skies. Company of Now strolls delicately through your ears and floats comfortably down the river of your emotions. The colours of folk, jazz, and soul are all painted by the singer-songwriter to create a humble and intimate soundscape. Spot-on vocals smoothly sit atop relaxed instrumental arrangements in this relaxing run. If you’re sitting around just trying to get some down time, this album will be of great use to you.
The intro track, “Bicycle,” is a dialled back vocal and piano short that lulls you into the right state of mind. You get to hear Stine’s voice front-and-centre as you get a proper introduction to the voice that will be leading you by the hand through the rest of the album. Once you’ve settled in, you cruise so swiftly through “Growing Pains.” Relaxed drums lock you in to a hypnotic groove while glassy guitars paint pretty colours that come in and out of focus. Stine also uses subtle vocal harmonies to push parts ever so gently. This song is like a sweet summer breeze that cools and warms at the same time. If you’re into the laid back folk-country-indie vibes; Lotta Sea Lice by Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett comes highly recommended, and has a bit more kick to it if you’re trying to seize things up.
Still very early on in tracklist, we find my favourite song of the album. “There I’ll Go” funnily enough evokes a similar feeling to “Release” by Pearl Jam. Tom-tom-oriented percussion helps give that effect. The guitars are also very low-key in adding to the atmosphere that comes from the breath of Stine’s wide and flowing vocals. It is a voice whose warmth you would throw yourself into trustingly. With a build that comes and goes with the flow of a breath, this is one of the tracks that you will effortlessly float through in a dazed and hazy state.
As you sink deeper into this silky lake, you do so in an unbroken state of hypnosis. The production of this album is dialed back and unimposing. It reminds me a lot of the vibes you could catch if you go fishing in Hejira by Joni Mitchell. The lyrics are also a point of focus, as they speak of personal growth and perseverance, a message that seems easy to understand when it’s backed by such honest music.
Another great point about this album is that you could find a few different grooves sitting around the track list. To further compliment the quieter vibes, you get songs like “Feather” that struts around with a jazzy pep in its step. Here you get a bit more of the soul that gets mixed into mix. “Threshold of You” follows up in the same vein but at a different pace. Tune in to this track to find some smokey vocals and music that’ll have you swaying to its swing. There are also some distorted guitars that make their way on to the scene to make a mean push for this jazz-lounge vibe.
Having peaked with some more energetic songs, the album slowly retreats back into the warm embrace of its muse. It touches down just right and leaves you with a flame of satisfaction lit inside. This record had a lot of good hooks to it. The songs were well written, production was crisp, Stine’s voice soared without a blemish, and there was an organic flow to the songs and track list. Superb effort on Stine’s behalf to haul this together, so kick back and give this a cozy listen.
Written by Ben Cornel
*edited by Danielle Kenedy