Annabel Gutherz recently released her newest single “Retrograde”. Annabel is a singer-songwriter hailing from Montreal, Canada. Combining her compelling and diaristic storytelling with honeyed melodies, distinct vocals, and her keen musical ear, Annabel’s songs take listeners on a heartfelt journey packed with raw honesty and emotional conviction.
The singer-songwriter chatted with ai love music via email about her musical journey, how has 2022 been, and the behind-the-scenes of her latest single “Retrograde”. Find out which sentiments inspired Annabel to write the song by continuing on. Make sure to listen to “Retrograde” down below. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Hello! Please introduce yourself! How did you get into music?
Hi! It’s a pleasure to meet you! I’m Annabel Gutherz, and I’m a singer-songwriter and Berklee College of Music Master’s student from Montreal, Canada. I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember – my mom always jokes that I could sing before I could speak! That said, my true foray into the arts was through musical theatre.
My sister and my mom took part in a local theatre production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, and I was, undisputedly, the most eager audience member in attendance (even more so than my dad)! I was completely enamored by the entirety of the production and felt a magnetic draw to the stage and to performing in general! At six, I was cast in the company’s next showing of Annie the Musical, and I haven’t looked back since!
How has your musical journey been since you started? What are some of the things you learned on this journey?
My musical journey has been filled with many indelible moments and memories I deeply cherish, as well as challenges and obstacles. In terms of drawbacks, I have struggled with vocal nodules. Working through those vocalization “impediments” alongside incredible vocal coaches, speech therapists, and doctors, I learned how to be more resilient and patient with myself, invaluable lessons which I carry with me in all that I do. Beyond that, I have learned so much about myself through songwriting, namely how to better sift through and make sense of different, at times, dichotomous emotions.
What musical genres and/or artists inspire you?
There are a number of musical genres and artists that inspire me! Some of my favorite artists include Stevie Nicks, Queen, Linda Ronstadt, The Beatles, David Bowie, Alicia Keys, and Bruno Mars, amongst countless others, and the two genres I listen to most frequently include pop-rock and musical theatre. I am becoming increasingly intentional about my musical choice and from whom I am drawing inspiration.
How has 2022 shaped you as a musician so far? Was there a goal you had in mind this year?
The new year has shaped my musicianship in a big way thus far! I am currently earning my Master’s of Arts degree in Songwriting from Berklee College of Music, and the wealth of knowledge I have acquired this year alone has been invaluable. The program is rigorous in the best way and has ripened my skill set and understanding of the songwriting craft from numerous perspectives.
My goals this year in songwriting are to employ the techniques I’ve studied to better capture my identity in the sound of my music, to write sonically cohesive songs, to create another body of work that I am proud of, as well as to keep learning and growing as an artist! I also hope to use whatever creative means and platform I have to be a vessel of good and positive change in the world.
Let’s talk about the single “Retrograde”. What is it about? What inspired you to write it?
I noticed a shared sentiment amongst my friends, family, and me in the wake of the pandemic — a feeling of stagnation in our respective ambitions and pursuits, or worse, a sense of retrogression. Upon having an insightful conversation with my mom, who seems to have a blueprint of life’s greatest lessons, I came to the understanding that no one is ever stagnant. We are always learning, growing, and moving forward as a result… In other words, we are “never in retrograde!”
What sounds, textures, or lyrics that you wanted to highlight in “Retrograde”?
I wanted the song to feel dramatic and combine my love of both musical theatre and pop-rock. In doing so, I produced an arrangement that has the architecture of a stadium song and pulled from a contemporary, synth-based, and rock sonic palette, using sounds and textures that I felt were “galactic.”
You released your debut album last year. How was the experience? What is the album about?
My debut album, Loose Ends, is largely a coming-of-age album about navigating and reconciling life’s unfinished moments. The experience of releasing Loose Ends was cathartic. The songs that I released as part of that album were ones I had held onto for the longest time, as I was a little intimidated bearing a piece of my heart with the world. After having let the songs go, it was so fulfilling and humbling to witness the resonance of art and the impact it could have on people.
Is there anything you want listeners to listen for in “Retrograde”?
Yes! I had some very special backup vocalists sing on “Retrograde,” namely my mom, dad, and sister! I’m so excited for listeners to pick them out!
Any future plans?
Absolutely! I have a plethora of new music that I can’t wait to release! I’m looking so forward to the year ahead, especially at the prospect of performing live and connecting with audiences once more! Celebrating music and community in a shared space is truly unparalleled!
Make sure to check out Annabel Gutherz at the following: