Music Matters Review

Annie Gallup—Lucy Remembers Her Father
2017, Flyaway Hair

Annie Gallup’s poetry is lyrical and her music is poetic. Her musings are succinctly expressed in surprising turns of phrase, rhythms are suggested without backbeat, chords and melody are hinted and shared across guitar, lap steel and ukulele, (abetted by her husband, Peter Gallway on bass). Her vocals are musical even when spoken more than sung, multi-tracked without losing intimacy. It is simplicity built from judicious complexity. Every song has something to savor, something to go back to and unpack. She wryly chides first person foibles in “Loyalty,” “And the familiar ache of intoxicating cruelty/ Made me hard to shake/ I was hard to shake/ I was hard to shake.” “Being Her Child” is devastating from the first lines, “Her eyes are not windows./ They are small blue stones./ Her touch is bone on bone where she stops and I begin.” She pivots to pair this with “Lucy Remembers Her Father” which describes an enriching relationship with a warm and garrulous father. Streams of juxtapositions bring tears to your eyes as you feel these memories as if they are your own. “We were rich in books and strangers on the porch steps/ Poor in political influence/ We were rich in wood smoke, dust bunnies, mouse traps/ Poor in pedigree and regrets.” “Story” is actually a story within a story, complex enough to be a feature film, compressed in a song that muses before it fades to black, “And we sat a long moment caught in each other’s gaze./ In my mind we are still there, lost in questions without answers/ although we each moved on, drawn to something bright and new/ that looked beautiful from far away.” Find a quiet place and savor! —Michael Devlin