Focus: David Ford & Annie Dressner | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you and where are you from?
Annie: Hello! I’m Annie.  I am a singer-songwriter from New York City.  I moved to Cambridge, England almost eleven years ago, as my husband is English.  I’ve come to like tea recently, but still have a deep admiration and respect for bagels – especially everything bagels.

David: I’m David, a songbuilder from the hilly southern void between London and the sea. I am similarly appreciative of bagels.

What is it you do?
Annie: I am a musician and a photographer (and a mom). For music, I have mostly only done solo work up until this new awesome project with David Ford, playing guitar and singing conversational songs.  I would class my solo work as Singer-Songwriter generally, Folk (in America) and Americana (in the UK).  As a photographer, I love to take portraits, especially of artists, actors and musicians.  

David: Mostly I write songs. Having done that, I play and sing and record them. I don’t like to stick to a particular style or sound palette, nor do I like to be restrained by my skill set. As an enthusiast, I’m willing to give most things a try. I also like to make things out of wood. 

How long have you been doing it?
Annie: I have been singing since before I could talk.  I only started to write songs when I was 18 and had graduated high school.  It had never occurred to me that I could write my own songs – but through the process of doing it with a guitar, I soon realised that I actually had been doing this for a very long time; whilst in an elevator, walking down the street or in the car – always making up melodies and lyrics to process my emotions.

I put out my first album in 2011 called Strangers Who Knew Each Other’s Names and played at an open mic with shakey hands for the first time in 2008 – so I guess I have ‘been doing it’ since 2008 – or much earlier depending on how you look at it.

David: I became infatuated with the peculiar magic of songwriting in the mid-nineties and began a lifetime of study into its improbable mechanics. I had the good fortune of being born at just the right time to have caught the last chokings of the old-model, pre-streaming music industry and was able, despite my comparative youthful mediocrity, to secure a record deal, play in a band, release records and begin to learn a little about touring, writing and recording.

What inspires you?
Annie: I started by writing from my own life’s experiences, but as the years have gone on, I have branched out to thinking about other people’s situations; for example, my song Morning was inspired by a news story.  

The short answer would be: feelings, whether my own or imagined.

David: Anything that feels like it might be an important or meaningful thought is the stuff from which good songs are built. So I find inspiration in the news, in conversation, in fair-natured argument, in the quiet reflection of a long drive on a straight road.

Tell us about your music.
Annie: I have been writing my fourth album, which I am in the process of mulling over.  I also am going to have a single coming out called I’ve Always Been Like This in September ahead of my solo UK headline tour.

Insofar as this project, David Ford & Annie Dressner, I haven’t been this excited about music for quite a long time.  I absolutely love writing and singing with David. The production is very simple, usually one instrument and two vocals. 

David and I did not plan to work together or form a duo.  Funnily enough, though, I tweeted that I wanted to be in an indie band a few years ago, and whilst I did not know him, the only person who answered that they’d want to join me, was, in fact, David Ford.

David, do you want to let everyone know how our project came about?  I feel like we shouldn’t both tell it, and I’ve blabbed a lot about other stuff.

David: Well alright then. It was pretty simple really. Being a musician brings you into contact with other musicians. Paths cross and small alliances are formed. Annie and I sang a song together and we thought it sounded good, felt good and was something worth doing again. So we had a go at writing together and found that to be similarly fruitful. We’re pretty different as songwriters but I like to think that has a positive effect on our collaborative process. Annie writes fast and I write slow but when we write together I think we each find a more agreeable pace.

What have you got coming up in the future?
Annie: As Annie Dressner I will be putting out a fourth album at some point.  All the songs are written – I just need to figure out how I want to record it, and then, record it!

As far as ‘David Ford & Annie Dressner’ – I don’t know what comes next as our project randomly came out of nothing and is only a few months old, but my hope is to write and sing with David for a long time as it is one of the most joyous and inspirational creative things I have ever been a part of.

David: I have a solo album release and accompanying tour in October. Annie and I have been writing more songs and I’m sure they will find their home in the world in the near future.

Where can people find out more about you?
Annie: & and all of the socials 

Instagram – @anniedressner
Facebook – @anniedressnermusic
Twitter –      @anniedressner

Instagram – @dressnerford
Facebook – @dressnerford
Twitter –      @dressnerford

David: I’m not that hard to find.

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