Following the critical success of her 2015 album, Reflections, and more than two years of touring across Canada charming audiences with her unique brand of musical storytelling, singer-songwriter Annie Sumi is pleased to share her newest album, In the Unknown.
It’s a collection of contemporary folk tunes, brought to life through rich instrumentation, Sumi’s unique ethereal vocalization, and an orchestra of sound that includes strings, piano and a hint of percussion.
But mostly, In the Unknown is about stories. Gathering stories, both real and imagined, and weaving them into song is at the core of what this young artist has become. It’s as if she is able to breathe in all the beauty of nature and the subtleties of life, and breathe out musical tales that inspire, enchant, or open the heart.
“I’ve been story-catching, travelling across the country listening to peoples’ stories about life and loss, love and laughter,” Sumi says. “In the Unknown is a voicing of these little treasures.”
There is “Get By,” a song about the sadness in a man’s heart as he’s forced to leave his wife and kids to find work out west. There’s a light and breezy tune, “The City,” about a carefree, late-night stroll through the busy streets of an urban centre. And there’s the album’s lead track, “In Everything,” a clarion call for Mother Nature, inspired by the ideas of Pantheism, where Sumi encourages us all to hold each other and the environment with reverence and respect.
“It’s not a Baez or Dylan-type of 60s protest song,” she says. “But there’s a message there, for sure. I believe we should all strive to make our world a better place, and I feel blessed to be able to inspire positive change through song.”
With In the Unknown released to the world, Sumi will hit the road again, with tours planned in 2018 for Canada, the Eastern U.S., and Europe. It’s on stage where she’s most at home, making a connection with her audience through an intimate acoustic set, or kicking it up a notch with some musical accompaniment, and, then, offering her trademark “free hugs” after each show.
She’s played almost 200 shows, from house concerts to major festivals, and has shared the stage with the likes of Buffy Sainte-Marie and Ron Sexsmith.
“Annie Sumi wins you over before she finishes her first song,” says Mogens Galberg, of the Greenbank Folk Music Society. “Her natural and beautiful voice, smart lyrical ballads and excellent guitar skills make you realize she was born to do this.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Annie Sumi is an Ontario-based ethereal-folk artist with a sound shaped by varied musical influences, from Joni to Feist to Nick Drake, and a dash of mystical songstress Kate Bush emerging in her latest album, In the Unknown.
Sumi’s music has been played all across Canada on CBC and community radio, and earned critical acclaim and numerous accolades. She’s also a member of the award-winning folk/jazz quartet, The Hidden Roots Collective, recently nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award.