Portland-based singer/songwriter Anna Tivel, who has proven time and again that she is one of today’s finest indie folk artists, is preparing to release her latest album, Small Believer, on Fluff & Gravy Records. While Anna calls Portland, Oregon home, she is no stranger to the road. In fact, she has spent a great deal of time touring, and it was while traveling that she managed to write a bunch of songs about the stories that people have shared with her along the way. But there is also something personal in each song as if to say, “We’re all human and have our experiences and stories, our strengths and flaws, our similarities and differences, and I can therefore relate to you more than you might realize.” As such, Small Believer is a truly inspired album whose songs capture not just Anna’s life but the lives of those she has encountered.
Each piece of music on Small Believer, which was made into an elaborate arrangement by a handful of talented contributing musicians, serves as a superbly crafted backdrop for Anna’s soft yet prominent vocals. And Anna’s lyrics are those of a skilled songwriter and storyteller, penned in a fashion that absorbs the listener from the first word to the last.
Small Believer is an album whose songs are almost equally good. But “Illinois,” “Saturday Night,” “Alleyway,” “Blue World,” “Ordinary Dance” are especially outstanding.
Small Believer is the follow-up to Anna’s 2016 album Heroes Waking Up, which was quite well-received. Before Heroes Waking Up was the brilliant 2014 full-length Before Machines, which also received its share of praise for press and fans alike. Anna stays in motion, remains creative and productive, and the quality of her songs seems to thrive rather than suffer for it. This is evident on her latest collection of songs, as they are some of her best to date.
Anna Tivel’s Small Believer is scheduled for a September 29, 2017 release from Fluff & Gravy Records, and it will be available in CD, LP and digital formats.
Take a listen to the opening track from Small Believer, “Illinois.”