Welcome to the world of Anna Howie – The Friday Night Club Review

Anna Howie The Friday Night Club album art. Anna stares into the lens with an orange colour to the frame

Anna Howie, releases her debut album “The Friday Night Club” through Absolute Label Services. For those who might not have come across Anna before (where were you?) this album follows her EP “An Idiot’s Guide to Love” recorded in Nashville and that first brought her unique take on life onto the country stage!

The Friday Night Club gives fans and new comers alike 11 new tracks through which to get to know Anna’s intelligent lyrics, unique voice and style with tailored production which acts as a perfect foil for the songs of love, loss and life. A mixture of songs reflecting on family life, exploits and the strange and lonely time of lockdown this debut album blends shades of Gretchen Peters and Suzie Ungerleider with Anna’s very British view of life.

There are a number of jewels in this collection but “Angels Among Us” is particularly lovely and perhaps my favourite lockdown inspired track to date.

Based in London and the South East, Anna has performed across Europe with various bands but in recent years has been concentrating on writing and performing her own songs and bringing them to the UK and US audiences. Her online sessions during lockdown brought her music to new audiences and created a community whilst developing the album.

The album opens with Acrobat, a vocals led observation of an easy approach to living with echoes of blues and bluegrass, with its guitar picking style as a backdrop to dreamy sunny days and letting the world take you wherever it wants. A great introduction to the album and a note to the listener to relax and enjoy the ride.

Angels Among Us is simply one of my favourite lockdown inspired songs – released ahead of the album this track has connected with many. This time an observation of how hard times brought out the best in people – ordinary people becoming heroes or in Anna’s words (or the words of her dad as the song says) “angels”. The storytelling lyrics and use of guitar and strings in this ballad arrangement is very emotive and builds beautifully with the harmonies into the bridge and towards its conclusion.

In the Morning wakes us up with a bang with a wry view of the adventures of the night before and reflections on the morning after. Up tempo and bringing in the brass this track comes with fun, flirty and funky feels.

Peas – ah Peas! This is one of those jewels I mentioned. Lyrics that perfectly capture a fun evening that turns into one of those moments where you just have to take a step back and explain “the line”. Anna’s turn of phrase and sense of fun brings a very British view to this situation and of course its delivered with affection and wit. With strains of honky-tonk piano and references to Mrs Robinson I predict you will enjoy this track very much indeed!

Sylvie Got Cash brings a very different story to life about growing up on the streets and Sylvie who looked out for you but also who had cash when you needed it. Up tempo and with great repetition this upbeat exposé of real life growing up, the characters on the street and learning how the world turned is filled with all the colour and adventure that you might expect. This is one to savour.

The Ole Buskers Inn and Getting By bring the album towards its conclusion with more tried and tested themes and sounds of country songwriting but as ever the treatment of the subject with Anna’s lyrics and the production works so well together. Two great tracks to get your singalong on to.

Friday Night is a love song to the audience and crew that make those Friday night online sessions and live gigs so special. Complete with the “shoop shoop” this track comes with a groove that is sure to make you too wish for Friday Night. Welcome to The Friday Night Club!

Recorded and produced at Polyphonic Studio in Gloucestershire with Lukas Drinkwater this album takes us on a journey through a varied and eclectic collection of tracks that showcase Anna’s versatility, sound and unique approach to songwriting.

Anna’s album launch will be in The Bedford, London and The Archway Theatre, Horley and Anna will be touring over the coming year with The ARC Songwriters Tour – with My Girl the River and Kate Ellis so do go along and catch a live show.







Angels Among Us

In The Morning


A Bird Sings In Nashville

Sylvie Got Cash

I Could Be Your Friend

In This House

The Old Buskers Inn

Getting By

Friday Night

Review written by Ann Kenney (twitter.com/annkenneysongs)

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