Ana Egge
Ana Egge
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Time Out NY


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Ana Egge, a modern folkie with roots in North Dakota and a home in Brooklyn, first won acclaim about a decade ago, largely on the basis of her songwriting. She is also a proficient guitarist with an intimate touch, having built her own instrument as a teenager under the tutelage of a luthier. On her fifth album—the fall-released, summer-flavored Lazy Days (Grace/Parkinsong)—Egge reveals yet a third talent, interpreting songs by artists including Sandy Denny, Gene Autry and Arcade Fire.

Is it indolent for a proven songwriter to record an album of covers? Well, yes—at least according to Egge. All ten songs on Lazy Days are devoted to the varied joys of idleness. In the Kinks’ “Midday Sun,” the singer sits “with no particular purpose or reason,” proud to “rather be a hobo walking around with nothing than a rich man scared of losing all he’s got.” In a breezy reading of Belle and Sebastian’s fantastic “Summer Wastin’ ”—“Say cheerio to books now, the only things I’ll read are faces”—Egge’s voice slips a millisecond behind the music, as if her body is in a recording studio and her mind on a beach. Aside from the occasional misstep (most egregiously Le Tigre’s “Much Finer”), the album is well plotted and appropriately wistful. Onstage, the singer includes her original compositions alongside the covers, an increasingly unpopular approach that even the best songwriters should reconsider. After all, there’s no shame in sloth—sometimes, it takes quite a lot of work to maintain.

Jay Ruttenberg – Time Out NY