Annalisa Tornfelt first came to my attention as the singer for Black Prairie (Portland, Oregon), a folk-rock group that began in 2007 as a side project for members of The Decemberists and has since evolved into an influential force in Portland’s exploding indie music scene. Her new solo album The Number 8 is set for release on March 10 on Woodphone Records. For this project, the Alaska-raised singer used an analog 8-track tape machine to record just herself and her vintage Black Beauty Arch Kraft guitar singing 14 tracks composed by herself (with two co-writes). She worked with Mike Coykendall to record the entire album in 8 hours at Blue Doors Studios in SE Portland. (And yes, she plays her nyckelharpa on the record too!)
“I asked Annalisa to play a few fiddle tunes with me, which soon flipped to her picking up a guitar and singing Hank Williams,” says her Black Prairie bandmate, Chris Funk. “It was simple, but it was stunning… she grabs the all-too-familiar guitar and sings a song and you realize your bandmate and friend has the unique gift and power to make the weight of the world lift for three minutes.”
The Number 8 has a gorgeous, languid feel that ranges from oldtime country to modern indie-folk. There’s nothing here that I wanted to skip over. Each song compels a closer listen and a linger, to be savored like a Sunday morning cup of Stumpy’s at your neighborhood cafe. The Number 8 is a perfect soundtrack for a lazy hipster hang in the city where young people go to retire. Recommended!
LISTEN: Found A Song
LISTEN: Scared You’re Gonna Leave
Watch: Tired of Saying Sorry