Annie Doesn't Stop

Annie Doesn't Stop
Remember Annie? That sweet Norwegian girl who sang a metaphor comparing boys to chewing gum? Well, after a tumultuous past couple years that saw her second album held hostage by Island Records, Annie has been set free. "In the end they didn't really want what I wanted to give," she summarizes. Annie's tale is that age-old one where a major label signs an emerging artist, the A&R rep is axed, the album gets shelved indefinitely, and so on.

Annie thinks it was her stature of having one foot in the underground and the other in the mainstream that got her into the mess. "I think that's what all major labels want," she explains. "It's like a wet dream they have. They're thinking, 'Oh, it's so underground.' But when it's out there they want it to be commercial. And that's a problem, they need to make up their minds."

But that's all behind her now, as her Nordic brethren at Smalltown Supersound have given a home to Don't Stop, her long-awaited follow-up to 2004's Anniemal. Since Island's version of the album leaked a year prior, Annie "wanted something fresh and new." She removed some tracks, tinkered with the sequence and returned to the studio with indie super producer Paul Epworth (Bloc Party, Friendly Fires). Rife with Annie's adorable character and sophisticated production by pop's cream of the crop, Don't Stop exemplifies how a contemporary pop record should be made. To Annie, though, the album represents not just a victory by finally getting it out to the public, but also artistic growth. "I was definitely concentrating more on writing songs this time, [putting] the rhythms and melodies together," she says. "It's also punchier and I think it's just a stronger record."