words: Kat Harding
Released December 1, 2016, in partnership with Track and Field Records, Portland-based Haste’s Annabelle is a dreamy lo-fi rock journey. Fronted by Jasmine Wood, with support from album engineer Thomas Hoganson on bass and Kaleb Shields on drums, Haste created a heavy, fuzzy, multi-layered album of thoughtful rock tunes.
A Portland native, Wood began toying with electric guitar pedals in 2013, writing songs and polishing the many tracks she’d penned as a teenager. Recorded live in a historic home in St. John’s in the winter of 2015, Annabelle is the product of Wood’s interest in her Boss DD6 Delay pedal and a marked growth in songwriting ability. “Dear Annabelle” was the start of every diary entry for Jasmine for three years after reading The Diary of Anne Frank -- Wood’s homage to Annelies Marie Frank. All songs were written by Wood, with the exception of album closer “Indian Summer,” a reimagining of the Beat Happening track from 1988 about sticky summer days and childhood promises to return to the same feeling.
Opening with “It’s OK,” a hopeful track with minimal vocals and heavy distorted guitar, the album then plunges into “Let’s Touch Ourselves,” a song about escaping and spending time in places you love. The album is an echoey and atmospheric trip, settling you into the space between the reverb and Wood’s gentle vocals. Title track “Annabelle” features open, distorted chords over the simple refrain “I found a way,” the only words repeated throughout the song, and a timely reminder for everyone going in to 2017 that we will also find a way. “December” fits the bleak, grey days of winter perfectly, with thoughtful wandering lyrics over moody reverberation, begging to be listened to while wrapped warm in a blanket and staring out a window into the cold season.