Seven tracks might not seem like much for an artist who started dropping music two years ago. That didn’t seem to stop independent record label Trailing Twelve Records from signing 22-year-old singer-songwriter Annie Schultz, who announced the deal with the release of the single “Patterns.” Serving as the first teaser of an upcoming EP, the second after 2021’s Boy Blue, it sets the tone for what’s to come in, hopefully, quick succession.
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Based up north in Olympia, Washington, Schultz relies heavily on atmosphere and similar thoughts or feelings the listener can relate to. “Patterns” finds Schultz contemplating past experiences, where they wonder how to be emotionally in two places at once: for others and themselves. Schultz’s guitar glides over the waters of distant echoing chords corresponding to each strum, coming together in a cross between folk and indie.
Intentional or not, the northern indie sound couldn’t be more obvious, a nod to Schultz’s upbringing in Minnesota, where they learned how to play the guitar at 14. But there’s more to their music than a geographical indicator, capturing a longing for nostalgic normalcy all too relatable. The resulting output reflects that mindset, sharing similarities with singer-songwriters like Elliott Smith and Phoebe Bridgers.
Still, each track sounds like a personal testimony not meant to be released. “My songs often subconsciously end up being letters to myself, observing shifting dynamics with the people I love and posing questions about why I choose to make certain decisions,” Schultz said about their creative process.
Besides having a good ear for musical inspiration, they also have a good eye when sitting in the director’s chair. They’re also the mind behind the YouTube channel tapeolympia, where they film and direct live shows around the Olympia area. That alone would have gone to show their passion for music. Yet, the unflinching vulnerability in Schultzs’ lyrics adds to a dedication that has already proven they’re in it for the long run.
Words: David Sosa
“Patterns” by Annie Schultz is out on all streaming services. For more on new music, follow them on Instagram.