Montreal’s ANNABEL GUTHERZ on her debut album & working with Celine Dion’s band

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Annabel Gutherz loves the rain. “I just feel like the world just sort of takes a pause and a breath and it just feels very rejuvenating in a weird way.” The Montreal singer-songwriter is probably due for a break after working on her debut album, Loose Ends, and also writing a children’s picture book series that to help facilitate access to education in countries across the globe.

Loose Ends, released this week (October 1st), is an eleven-song, retro rock record that is co-produced by Dominique Messier, a long-time band member for Céline Dion and owner of Studio Piccolo. 

“I’ve held onto these songs for the longest of time,” she tells me over Zoom. “I feel like I’m a little bit of a, not guarded, but a little bit of a walled person. And so the idea, the notion of bearing, you know, a little piece of my heart with anyone willing to listen, just felt a little daunting and a little scary, but art is certainly meant to be shared and it’s meant to connect us and to heal us. And this record certainly did that for me. And so I hope that it does that with any and all listeners.”

Music hooked Annabel from a very early age, thanks to her parents introducing her to musical theatre.

“When I was a kid, I loved musical theatre. That was sort of my foray into the arts. My mom and sister, when I was around five years old, took part in a local theatre production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. And I just remember it was just, it was almost visceral. I was just drawn to the stage. I was like, that’s where I need to be. And from then on, I was in a lot of musical theatre shows and productions, and I would say that was really, my first love was just being on stage performing and, oh my gosh, the scores and the music for musical theatre. I mean, that always resonates with me. And then later on, obviously I was exposed to other artists. Growing up, I loved Alicia Keys, Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac, Gladys Knight and the Pips, you know, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Adele. I mean, so many different musical influences and artists that I just absolutely love.”

Annabel, who describes herself as a storyteller, is an ardent songwriter and began composing original music in her early teen years. 

“I think songwriting is really at the cross-section of my passions, which is music and storytelling. So it’s sort of the perfect marriage for me.”

Having someone as established and successful as Dominique Messier producing your debut album must be quite a thrill. Annabel says she doesn’t take the opportunity for granted.

“I’ve been working with Dominique Messier here in Montreal and he’s my producer, but he’s also Celine Dion’s drummer. And so when I say I’m a drummer, it’s just, it’s not real. When you hear him play, I mean, it’s unbelievable. It’s unearthly, it’s incredible. And you realize just how much of a craft and an art percussion and the drums really are. He is just such a wealth of knowledge and he’s always imparting his wisdom with me. I would say probably three-quarters of the time we’re in the studio, we’re just chatting and I’m just trying to soak up all of his knowledge and his wisdom, like a sponge. And he’s also just an incredibly hilarious individual beyond being so super talented and brilliant. You know, I really consider him to be like a genius. He’s also just so much fun to work with. So three-quarters of the time we’re just talking and we’re just having a blast. And then a quarter of the time we’re working. So I would just send them a really rough demo and he just flushed out the arrangement and the production aspect of it. And for guitar, I got to borrow Kevin Girouard, who was Celine’s guitarist. And they’re both all inspiring and I just feel so endlessly blessed and grateful to have them share their talents with me because they’re unparalleled honestly. And in my opinion, I’ve never heard anyone play quite like them. And it’s, it’s such a gift.”

Annabel Gutherz studied Interdisciplinary Music Studies at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. In addition to being a multifaceted singer-songwriter, Annabel is a talented guitarist and saxophonist.

On top of her musical endeavours and academic career, Annabel is the published author of children’s picture book series, Annie’s Pajammies, which will soon be sold with a corresponding line of pajamas. A portion of the proceeds from every Annie’s Pajammies unit sold is donated to help facilitate access to education in countries across the globe.

Watch the full interview with Annabel below:

‘Loose Ends’ Track List
1. Mountain Man
2. Jane
3. Skylark
4. Checkmate
5. Bloomer
6. Not The Girl
7. Breathing Under Water
8. Barcelona
9. Remnant
10. Wild Side
11. Fragile

Loose Ends is released on October 1 on all streaming

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