Annuals is a six-piece (Indie) band from Raleigh, North Carolina. Their band members consist of Adam Baker (Songwriter/Vocals), Kenny Florence (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals), Mike Robinson (Bass/Backing Vocals), Anna Spence (keyboard/Piano/Backing Vocals), Zak Oden (Drums/Guitar) and Donzel Radford (Drums/Percussion). Their genre are mostly Indie rock, Alternative rock, Indie pop, Experimental rock. Their first album “Be He Me”, was released when they were just around the age of 19. And according to major music critic from Rolling Stone to NME to Pitchforkmedia, “Be He Me” received incredible positive reviews. Very impressive if you ask me. 🙂 Such a young band, but already so big at such young age. What more would I ask for if I were a part of Annuals!

Such Fun contains a variety of musical arrangement and landscape, from relaxing country to orchestra ballad.

Their title track, “Confessor” starts off with Adam Baker singing “Pack up and leave…” When it comes to the chorus, everything seems so right, Adam sings in a voice that somehow sounds so soft to my ears. And with the delicious music that blend in so well with the vocals, anyone will have to confess to any mistakes/deeds that he/she committed after listening to song. 🙂 The Guitar of Kenny can also be heard on and off. Wonderful opener from Such Fun!

“Hot Night Hounds” has a cheerful and fun piano sound to it. It kinda reminds me of my sister’s younger days where she played piano in our house every weekend or during her free time. This song can arguably be separated into 2 parts, where the first part is the piano-playing and the second part is the jamming and riffing of the guitar. 2 parts of this song make this song hot and cool!

“Springtime” is a slow and indie pop ballad where it starts off slow and steady. It gradually picks up in the chorus and the tempo of this song suddenly explode and all of a sudden the music background is getting richer, make this song sound so full and rich! Like Annuals are performing at an orchestra show! When Adam is not singing, the rest of the Annuals back it up with “Ba, ba, ba ba ba….” It’s beautiful, and it made me want to sing along! 🙂

“Down The Mountain” Wow! This song sounds like a song taken from a Cowboy Motion Picture. When I plugged in my earphones to my ears and listened to this song. I was imagining myself in a cowboy movie where I was riding on a horse and chasing, catching and hunting a group of cows/deers/goats/ or other wildlife. It’s such fun and cute song to listen to. You can bet to play this song when you are having a game of “getting to the seat when the music stops”! It’s just a suggestion. 🙂 But this song is definitely cute and funny! It made you want to smile and sometimes, laugh.

“Always Do” made an impression on me that it is a beautiful love song. It’s a love song, but angry love song. It seems that this song recalls the old memory of the love between 2 people. Annuals made an impact by exploding in this song. Remember “Brother” from their previous album, “Be He Me”? Well this song recalls me of “Brother”. Where it started off slow, and gradually picked up and exploded near the end of the song! It’s like building the momentum of this song, or even climbing up to the top of a hill or mountain and screams at his/her peak upon reaching the peak. Those who love “Brother”, will definitely love “Always Do”. 🙂

“Talking” is a fast track where the sound of the guitar can be mostly heard throughout the whole track. The chorus is the only part of the song that made an impression on me, where Adam sings, “Don’t let your love decay…” It sounds like Adam is really tired of talking. Honestly, I really think Annuals play and perform perfectly when they are doing a ballad orchestra or in other words, a slower tempo song. “Talking” is a good effort and it ended in a sudden after the riff of the guitar, but if you asked me, I prefer Annuals on indie pop, indie ballad or even indie orchestra if there’s such a genre. 😉

“Hardwood Floor” This song is just so awesome! 🙂 And I really mean it! It’s supposed to be a sad song but I can’t help but feeling good whenever listening to this beautiful song. Adam starts off with “I’m so scared I just can’t go anymore, I keep patching my rooftop…” From the first listen, it’s like singing about a wound that hasn’t healed completely. But in reality, after listening to this song, all my wounds are gone, this song is capable of doing so. The part where Annuals sing what sounded to me like, “didn’t told dai yo”, it is one of the best moment on Such Fun. Well, if you asked me what does it mean, frankly I don’t know but it really sound like some African langauge. 🙂

“Hair Don’t Grow” From the beginning to the end of this song, Kenny’s guitar is awesome! Again, it resembles “Down The Mountain” as if it were taken from a Cowboy Motion Picture. But only this time, “Hair Don’t Grow” sounds packer, heavier and louder. It’s best when you play this song when you’re watching some Cowboy movies when the good Cowboys are fighting and shooting against the bad Cowboys. And oh yes, this song would be perfect when Annuals perform them in a gig or concert. The guitar, bass, drum, hand claps and some whistling instrument (Maybe it’s violin) just blend in and got together so well and tastefully. Don’t blame me if you find yourself nodding your head or tapping your foot away when listening to “Hair Don’t Grow”.

“The Tape” After listening to this song, I can’t help but think that this song is kinda cute and can be used to replace the old and somewhat boring “Silent Night” Christmas Song. 🙂 A picture of a man playing piano in front of the Christmas tree and his family came to my mind when I listened to this song. Or is it because of the Piano-playing that made this song embraces the atmosphere of the Christmas Season. Not only that, “The Tape” is well accompanied by a number of musical instruments which can be found in a brass band. On second listen, “The Tape” can be a wonderful song for children’s brass band.

“Blue Ridge” Yet again, another beautiful song. 😀 It begins with a man talking and whispering to a baby. Reminds me of fatherly love. Forget Barney! Let your baby listen to Annuals’ “Blue Ridge”! Throughout the journey of this song, the music and vocals fit in so well. When Annuals sing together, “To be first in the Sun, to be cursed it might be fun, such fun…” The music that comes along will blow you away. It’ll melt you away like a box of chocolate. The violin is brilliant. I wish this song can be longer..

“Wake” started off somewhat in a creepy way. But it continued with a cheerful and happy note. The chorus is a very happy one and the backup vocals done by the rest of the Annuals suits in just well. It also kinda reminds me of the Arctic Monkeys’ “A Certain Romance” where it ended on a strong and powerful note! Wonderful indie pop rock song (If there’s such a genre).

Rating: Compared to their previous full length album , “Be He Me”. “Such Fun” showed that Annuals are evolving as an indie band/artist. They tried to venture into new musical landscape and sound in “Such Fun” while “Be He Me” was somewhat very consistent in their landscape and sound. Overall “Such Fun” was a really good ride. No kidding! It garnered a rating of 7.5 out of 10 from me.

Stand-Out Tracks (My Picks): Springtime, Hardwood Floor, Hair Don’t Grow and Blue Ridge.

Source by Darren Tan