Annie Bass returns with the private, alluring ‘Don’t Worry’

Things have been quiet with ANNIE BASS for a minute or two now. Aside from her stellar collaborative project with CHRISTOPHER PORT released earlier this year, solo material from the Melbourne artist has tended to arrive, on average, at a rate of one single per year. It’s a welcome relief, then, to hear her latest single, ‘Don’t Worry’.

While her other project from this year saw her meeting Christopher Port halfway for a pair of UK garage-leaning pop tracks, her return solo single sees her moving back into more emotionally rich songwriting territory, working with a new team of collaborators for this one.

The production, which is handled by KITO (who’s also worked alongside JORJA SMITH and MABEL) and ARA KOUFAX, as well as Annie herself, is spacious and crisp, leaning once again into UK influences, but more towards the kind of dreary, downtempo trip-hop style grooves that saturated the Jorja Smith record. The restraint provides an ideal bed for Bass’ pure, drawn-out vocals and her startlingly honest, plaintive lyricism: “Don’t worry, I don’t want to hear you say that you’re sorry… Don’t worry, I don’t got to hear another of your stories”.

“During my first serious relationship, I reached a point where I felt totally broken, like my ability to feel like a woman had been switched off. ‘Don’t Worry’ was written years later. Looking back, it is all so clear, I was living in such deep denial just to avoid feeling something that was inevitable”.

Spacious almost to the point of feeling hollowed out, ‘Don’t Worry’ pulls off a delicate emotional balancing act: Bass’ tender, floating vocals swirling around blunt, leaden notes of raw piano as each is allowed to feel the contradictory pull of their weights as a brittle electronic beat shatters beneath. While Bass’ lyrics are solemn and reflective, her understated delivery giving the impression of quiet reservation, the instrumental still lands with the emotional weight of her raw, unfiltered hurt. The voyeurism that emerges isn’t painful to watch per se, but it’s a morally grey mix of intensely private and alluring nonetheless, as if you can’t look away from the brokenness of the track.

Photo by Daisy Clementine

Words by KYLE FENSOM

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