Brooke Annibale Shares Robyn-Inspired 'Glow': Premiere

Brooke Annibale
Alysse Gafkjen

Brooke Annibale

Brooke Annibale decided to "get out of my comfort zone a bit" on her upcoming third album Hold To The Light -- whose opening track, "Glow," is premiering exclusively below.

"I made my last couple records in Nashville with some of the same people, so this time I wanted to change it up," the Pittsburgh-based singer-songwriter tells Billboard. That meant working with a new producer, Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive) in Maine and also changing the sonic palette of her material. "I had experimented a little bit with some electronic songs in the past," Annibale says, "and I really like the idea of using acoustic and electric stuff together. I told Sam that, and we just went all in on it. It was cool working with Sam and exploring those really different ideas. I think the mission was just to try new things and see what could come of it."

With its spectral keyboard opening and urgent, insistent dynamics, "Glow" is a prototype of what Annibale sought for the new set. "I started writing it as a soft little just basic acoustic song," she recalls. "Then when we started working on it together it totally evolved, but it still sort of maintained the identity of a summer, light feel. We just took it in a different direction."

"Glow" also introduces a sunnier kind of tone to Annibale's songs, another musical sea change that's echoed throughout  Hold To The Light, which comes out June 8. "A lot of my music sounds pretty serious and doesn't tend to have a lot of happy vibe," acknowledges Annibale, adding that she wrote more with her electric guitar this time than on her previous albums too. "We were probably halfway through recording ('Glow') and Sam had been playing this synthesizer part. I said, 'This reminds me of something. Have you ever listened to Robyn's pop stuff from a couple of years ago?' He said no and I played him 'Dancing On My Own,' which I've been a huge fan of for a long time. Once I played that for him it sort of inspired the second half of that song, which was all of the overdubs and effects and that stuff."

Annibale plans to start touring in support of Hold To The Light during early June. She's looking forward to seeing what her fans think of the album's new direction, and she's also curious to see where it takes her music in the future. "Every time I record something I learning something new and want to apply it to the next thing," she says. "I learned a lot in this process. I did a lot of pretty in-depth demos at home and got to know the songs a lot better than just guitar and vocals. It made the process a little more interesting and I felt like that taught me a lot. I turned 30 last year, so it's fun to enter a new decade and be like, 'Hey, I'm here. It feels good.' It's feeling better than ever, in fact."

Tour Dates:
6/2/18 - Newark, OH @ The Bootlegger
6/3/18 - Cleveland, OH @ Music Box Supper Club
6/8/18 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Three Rivers Arts Festival (w/Valerie June)
6/15/18 - Philadelphia, PA @ Philadelphia Folksong Society
6/16/18 - New York, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall - Stage 3
6/17/18 - Northampton, MA @ The Parlor Room
6/19/18 - Burlington, VT @ Skinny Pancake 
6/21/18 - Boston, MA @ Fraser Performance Studio w/WGBH
7/03/18 - Edgartown, MA @ Harbor View Hotel - WMVY Porch Concert Series
7/14/18 - Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Cafe - 2nd Stage
7/15/18 - San Francisco, CA @ Neck of the Woods (upstairs)(w/The Sweeplings)
8/16/18 - Ft. Collins, CO @ The Magic Rat