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Grey Anne: 'Golden Ratio'

Anne Adams of Grey Anne.
Anne Adams of Grey Anne.

Grey Anne is really Portlander Anne Adams, who used to be a part of local trio Per Se. Earlier this year, she decided to go it alone and recently released the solo debut, Facts N Figurines, which still features Per Se members Rachel Sakry and Lindy Wood. The effort is quirky and delightful, with a bevy of Adams' friends contributing their instrumental and vocal talents to the Grey Anne project. The new moniker is an appropriate one, as Grey Anne finds the space between pop music that is overtly happy or sad, and instead dwells in the grey area of things. There are a few synthesizers and hand claps sprinkled throughout the mostly acoustic Facts N Figurines, but there are also moments of melancholia and heartfelt lyrics to balance things out in a memorable way. And it certainly helps that Anne Adams' breathy voice is lovely, with an equal ability of being alluring and displaying a sense of whimsy.

Facts N Figurines starts off with today's featured track, "Golden Ratio," on which she showcases her eclectic-but-folksy nature. As she sings along with her acoustic guitar, contributor Leviethan Cecil gives the song a worldly vibe, through the use of exotic instruments like the bodhran and komus. A couple songs later, fellow Portlander Nick Jaina lends his voice on "Flapjack Devilfish Flies Again," a tune that switches things up and seductively saunters as if meant for a late night lounge. Then Facts N Figurines once again heads in a new direction, with Adams showing off her accordion abilities while she coos and yelps along to the funky standout, "Riddle."

The lyrics on Grey Anne's debut are also notable, particularly on "The Liking." It's the only time on Adams' debut where she's truly solo, handling all instruments and vocals herself. That intimacy is especially fitting, as it's on this song that she spills her feelings about a crush she has. "I'm toying with the notion / Of drowning in this ocean / I will call my friend and she will coax me back up on the sand / 'Cause she hates how much I like you," Adams admits. It's one of the most straightforward moments on her debut, but the vulnerability and honesty in her words turns the song into one of the album's most gripping.

Download this song in the Second Stage podcast.

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Tamara Vallejos