BY NOW, most people are reflecting on a period of time both so recent and so distant. The clichés are grating and tiresome but apt, nonetheless. Life came to a standstill, and uncertainty reigned. Almost everyone was clamouring for a meaningful project to sink their teeth into – something to comfort; something to distract.

Annie Booth began work on her upcoming album around two years ago and was preparing to enter the studio after adding a few finishing touches in early 2020.

Of course, at the time, she could not have considered the possibility that her work would have to wait until November 2021 to see the light of day.

As the world battled the horrors of the pandemic, it is sometimes easy to forget that Covid restrictions also slipped a quiet knife in the back of the music industry.

But as the wheels turned again, more and more artists were able to finish the work they had in hand. Their work, and commitment to it, served as a huge support structure for artists.

"It did feel a bit weird and disconnected to be recording those songs with everything that was going on," Booth reflects. "People endured so much and were suffering in all sorts of ways.

"But it did give me a bit of purpose at a time where – even though I'm grateful for a lot – I was still struggling."

The singer tells The Weekender how her upcoming release Lazybody – funded in part by Creative Scotland/National Lottery – was a constant challenge, even before Covid kicked in. But, it is perhaps, the negotiating of those hurdles that made the process so worthwhile.


Annie Booth will release her new album in November. Picture by Brian Sweeney

Annie Booth will release her new album in November. Picture by Brian Sweeney


She says: "Both in the writing and recording I came face to face with my own creative limitations, which felt like banging my head off a brick wall sometimes.

"But it's right after those times that you can really stumble across something exciting or feel like you're growing and learning as a musician."

Booth's influences certainly come to the fore with elements of indie, folk and country bleeding through at times. The singer faced the balance of wielding each genre in moderation, while keeping true to the heart of the song.

She adds: "I knew I wanted the album to showcase much more ambitious sounds and arrangement to reflect lots of influences, new and old (there's 70s and 90s and some 60s there) but by the same token I knew there would be a core of acoustic guitar or piano at the heart each track.

"My producer Chris McCrory worked really hard and was keen to hold on to the organic nature of the songs – this let us be as big or as stripped back as we wanted to be throughout.

"I've wanted to feature strings for a long time, and I'm so pleased with Rhona's arrangements. The band I worked with did an amazing job of elevating the songs beyond their indie-folk DNA…and just played really, really well."

She continues: "In some ways there are themes there that have always been around in my writing: anxiety, isolation, inertia fighting with restlessness. Some songs contain imagined scenes or conversations; others hold real ones – flickers or snapshots of memory and thought.

"I think the darker moments are balanced with hope and calm, though. There's also a contrast there between the excitement and uncertainty of the city and images from the natural world."

Booth will unveil the first single from the album in the form of Cocoon on September 24, with a second to follow next month.

Lazybody is set for release through Last Night From Glasgow on November 19, with a launch show tentatively set down at the Glad Café in Glasgow.