Simply put, Annie O’Malley has “balls.” In a day when pop music consumers clearly crave disingenuous artist-breathed hopelessness and brokenness, she’s shamelessly got it together. For O’Malley, short-term style takes a backseat to long-game substance. Oddly, the fresh-faced 20-year-old kid from Chicago opts merely to rely on her music, as opposed to staged publicity stunts, as a means of marketing her developing brand. She doesn’t even have a pierced septum or a jacked-up looking green coif. But what Annie O’Malley does have is incredible confidence and amazing songs – “balls,” to be sure.
O’Malley was just 17 years old when she first popped onto the national radar as the opening act for the iconic rock band, Chicago, during their 2017 U.S. fall tour. Dressed summertime chic, she hit the stage in Florida with nothing more than a guitar, a mic and a fistful of acoustic original compositions. Her soft-spoken confidence was captivating, and she won the crowd over in short order.
Produced by John Karkazis, aka Johnny K (3 Doors Down, Finger Eleven, Plain White T’s), O’Malley’s just-released debut set, Golden, finds her spreading her creative wings – offering seven sophisticated self-penned songs, with O’Malley stretching out musically on guitar and piano, while also handling all the vocal duties.
A crisp and compelling love song, “Mrs Nice” kicks off the record in a world-class fashion. Equally engaging, the video single, “Golden Doves” is a prime showcase for O’Malley’s delicate, satin-draped poetry – Breathe me out when I breathe you in. Warmest sun and the winds blowin’. Give me peace from a world of insecurities. Hold my hand lay down my body.
An irresistible celebration, “Island” is a “thousand mile” standout, while, “You’re the Drug” is a soaring, Gaga / Cooper-caliber epic. Another magical moment, “For You” feels like a cool breeze blowing back your hair just as you reach that breath-taking mountaintop.
Transparent, honest and pure, “This is Us” is a sweet, unassuming rhyme that gives ya a lil’ kiss on the cheek. However, it’s the Styles-sized video single, “Planet Golden” that just might try the hardest to bring home the record’s coveted MVP award.
2020 has been a horrifying freak show – the perfect time for a “pop savior” to arrive on the scene with a record that splashes “golden rays” across the ever-darkening music landscape. Annie O’Malley IS that savior. And Golden, IS that record.