Anna Corcoran has a degree in music and many years experience as a live performer across the UK. So I suppose it was only a matter of time before she got round to recording some of her songs. The Anything Better EP is the result, and it’s been well worth the wait.
As a pianist Corcoran has suppressed the temptation to make the recordings ‘piano-heavy’. Instead she allows the talented band of musicians to accompany her with arrangements that are perfect for the song, from rising star Robert Vincent’s acoustic guitar opening the title track Anything Better, and Michael Gay’s perfectly understated resonator guitar on Fallen Easy, to Steph Kearley’s moody cello and Etienne Girard’s double bass on the final song The Show. In fact, Anna’s piano doesn’t take centre stage until The Show, a chanson-esqe waltz with playful percussion from Tom Cowley who clearly had fun recording it.
Anna Corcoran has a beautiful, clean voice that matches her style of music perfectly. Her songwriting has been compared with Joni Mitchell and Sarah MacLachlan, and tracks one and two certainly have a North American feel to them.
The standard of songwriting, singing, and musicianship is as high as anything you would expect from established, well-known artists, as is the production (Michael Gay, take a bow). At least one high-profile muso agrees, with the song The Show recently being picked up by Tom Robinson and played on his BBC 6Music programme.
Anything Better EP is the perfect introduction to the music of Anna Corcoran. And if this is anything to go by, any future album will also be well worth the wait.
Graham Holland is the owner and editor of the Liverpool Acoustic website, and runs Liverpool Acoustic’s award-winning live music events with local musician Stuart Todd. In real life he’s a Web Development Officer, has been producing podcasts on a regular basis since July 2006, and runs a number of websites for other organisations. He lives in Wavertree with his husband and their cat Xiao Hei.