Acclaimed artist Andrew Combs shares “Anna Please,” the latest single from his forthcoming album Sundays (August 19th, Tone Tree (US), Loose Records (UK/EU)). The song’s sparse, cinematic silence is reminiscent of Ingmar Bergman’s work, and the accompanying music video pays homage to the Swedish filmmaker’s 1972 film Cries and Whispers.
“This tune is written from a dying woman’s point of view,” explains Combs. “It is an ode to her caretaker, who seems to have more compassion for her than the rest of her kin do. It was inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s film Cries and Whispers, and the video by Austin Leih is an homage to the Swedish filmmaker.”
Sundays came together on the heels of a mental breakdown that Combs experienced at the end of 2020 amid the long, monotonous grind of an ongoing global pandemic. As he turned to the practice of transcendental meditation to help find balance, Combs began going into the studio every Sunday with the goal of capturing a song he penned the previous week. The resulting 11-song collection offers a deep dive into his fragmented subconscious, centered around a pervasive sense of quiet hope that is succinctly summarized in his recent singles “The Ship” and “(God)less,” which was praised by Atwood Magazine for “finding beauty in the chaos of our world.”
Recorded entirely in mono, Sundays was collaboratively produced by Combs and Jordan Lehning(Caitlin Rose, Caroline Spence, Rodney Crowell) with additional arrangements from Dominic Billett (drums for Erin Rae, Julia Jacklin, Courtney Marie Andrews). The minimal approach lies in stark contrast to the maximalist production of his earlier work, including 2015’s All These Dreams and 2019’s Ideal Man.
Leaning away from the linear Americana-inflected instrumentation of lush strings, longing pedal steel and fingerpicked acoustic guitar, Sundays heads into darker and more sparse territory with a lonely, thumb-strummed electric sound colored by brooding woodwinds. As we make our way through the album, it feels as though an almost-imperceptible progression is happening, a movement toward some kind of resolve, at least, if not peace.
Photo Courtesy: Alysee Gafkjen