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Ana Egge & The SentimentalsAna Egge & The Sentimentals
Album: Say That Now
Label: Grace
Tracks: 10

Say That Now is the new album from Ana Egge. Last year she released "Bright Shadow" working with American Roots trio The Stray Birds and previously she has worked on recordings with Steve Earle and Ron Sexsmith. The new album finds her collaborating with old friends and musicians in the guise of Danish indie band The Sentimentals.

The album was recorded and produced by Ana and the Sentimentals in Denmark and then mixed and mastered in New York by the renowned, Steve Addabbo.

Ana describes the album being recorded with a communal feeling of warmth, or hygge as it is known in Denmark (pronounced hooga, by the way). The songs touch on themes of personal joy and sorrow, inward journeys and darker topics of modern reality.

The album's 10 tracks all work well together, blending Folk, Country and Americana with a back hand slice of Rock 'n' Roll. The album was created during two sessions between Ana and members of the band, MC Hansen, Nikolaj Wolf and Jacob Chano Lundby. These musicians have all played together before around the Danish touring circuit and for American born Ana Egge, whose Mother heralded from Denmark, working on the album in the country's capital city Copenhagen, was "a bit like coming home".

Ana is a Folk/Americana songwriter and The Sentimentals are an electric Folk-Rock band. The resulting songs are more than the sum of these two parts. There is a significantly deeper tone to the songs than much of what you may expect from albums in this genre. Yes, there are typically Country moments such as with "Promises to Break" layered in rich vocal harmonies and twangy guitar and also the swaying country beats of "Cheaters and Deceivers". However there is a darker side and moments of social comment on police brutality, terrorism and violence in todays society which are cleverly juxtaposed with a jaunty Americana feel.

Ironically the opening track "Take Off My Dress" is the least typical of the albums style and has something of an indie folk almost Cranberries feel about it. The album quickly unfolds though, down it's more traditional, cleverly written, Americana path.

There are intriguing detours on the way, with a Hendrix feel on "Spider" and then there is the Christine Mcvie/Fleetwood Mac groove on the refrain of title track "Say That Now" which for me is the best and catchiest of the tunes on the album. This high point is followed by another, "Still Waters Run Deep" which brings a nice variance, introducing a male lead vocal combining with Ana's voice and also the introduction of a beautifully laid down Mandolin.

There is a good array of songs here, making for a nicely balanced, consistent and overall, cracking little album. I found it growing on me the more I heard it and different tunes would vie to catch my ear with each listen. Ana has a unique voice which makes the album stand apart from the ordinary and this difference is also highlighted by the partnership with the guys in the band, The Sentimentals, who bring something equally original to the party.

James Morris