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Anja McCloskey - Quincy Who Waits

  by Lisa Torem

published: 16 / 9 / 2014

Anja McCloskey - Quincy Who Waits
Label: Sotones Records
Format: CD


Endearing second album from much acclaimed German-American singer-songwriter and accordionist, Anja McCloskey

Anja McCloskey’s groundbreaking debut ‘Estimation’ was recorded in 2012, and ‘Quincy Who Waits’ combines many of the ingredients that made her first album so endearing. Her clear expressive voice and simple accordion accompaniment provide a perfect palette for her bittersweet writing, which features themes like loneliness and identity and arose from a couple years of earnest travels in America’s Midwest where she found herself, perhaps, absorbing the area’s plentiful corn fields and silos. Although she wrote on the road, she recorded the album in Germany with the assistance of Mike Kenney, Fredrik Kinbom and singer-songwriter Dan Whitehouse. ‘Celluloid Glimmers’ sets the stage with extraordinary twists and turns instrumentally. ‘Suit Yourself’ is enhanced by that bittersweet accordion as she croons this slice-of-life saga. “You’ll never see the things I hold dear,” she complains about in ‘Too Many Words.’ The instruments swirl underneath busily, and her outro is vivid and exploratory. ‘Henry Lives’ is awash with clanky percussion, surf guitar and shimmering, symphonic touches. ‘Red’ is pure poetry, “You have lost your gaze/Your eyes are like darkness,” she muses. Her troubles become fully crystallised in this lament. It builds slowly and satisfyingly. ‘Insane’ begins with a simple, but penetrating line: “You’re insane, my love,” and she does her damnedest to prove it. The searing solos recall a tango in a darkly lit café. ‘Why Tea’ is frenzied and engaging. McCloskey’s voice finesses her busy use of words. In ‘The Calm,’ the jazzy melody shimmies against the cacophony of strings rendering a strong sense of suspense. ‘Quincy Who Waits in the Daffodils’ is the most concrete and structurally potent. “I’m in this yellow mess/ It’s the only thing that brings you near.” A DesMoines bridge, “full of plaques and messages for loved ones”,inspired her. ‘Come Tell Me’ is a winsome, lullaby-like ballad, which brings the tempo down a few notches. It’s joyful to hear McCloskey take her time with the subtle phrases proving she is indeed an expressive and soulful artist. The lavish strings and lovely piano accompaniment of ‘The Boy is Lost’ leaves us with a magical yet tragic sense of longing. “Will you ever talk to me?/Your eyelids never close at night,” she surrenders. This is a heartwarming album that really shows off Anja McCloskey’s talents as a singer, writer and intrepid traveller.

Track Listing:-
1 Celluloid Glimmers
2 Suit Yourself
3 Too Many Words (feat. Mikey Kenn
4 Henry Lives
5 Red
6 Insane
7 Why Tea
8 The Calm (feat. Campbell Austin)
9 Quincy Who Waits in the Daffodils
10 Come Tell Me
11 Zoom Permanent
12 The Boy Is Lost

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