Anne-Marie Sanderson – Book Songs Volume 1

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson| Stars: 3/5

Anne-Marie Sanderson’s third EP release is inspired by a handful of books the singer has devoured over time, books like Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth, Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible and Sarah Hall’s Haweswater for instance. Celebrating literature in such a symbiotic way is quite novel (no pun intended), Anne-Marie herself referring to the project as ‘cross-pollination between art forms’, going on to cite the practice as a very natural thing to do. The mysterious Holloways of South Dorset’s sandstone, as investigated by Robert Macfarlane, Dan Richards and Stanley Donwood in their compelling study of the subject, is hauntingly captured in “Holloway”, a thoroughly atmospheric opening song. The same could be said of the EP closer, which sees Anne-Marie traversing the adventures of Doris Lessing’s literary siblings Mara and Dann, with the alluring “Mara’s Song”, which I would assume will have listeners unfamiliar with the book scurrying down to their local library with haste. Accompanying herself on multiple instruments including guitar, cello, viola, clarinet, flute and percussion, Anne-Marie’s songs are performed with an assured confidence, her voice very much a focal point and her subject matter tenderly executed.