From angsty pubescent songwriting to touring the UK – Annabel Allum talks us through her musical journey backstage at her first ever Scottish headline show.
I walk down a winding staircase to a brightly lit room to be greeted by a small framed lady rocking a bleached blonde pixie cut.
“Fancy a beer?” says Annabel.
We slump down into an old battered leather sofa, twist the lids off our drinks and begin to chat about how Annabel first started getting onto the music scene.
Annabel started releasing songs in 2014 but began writing much before that.
“I started writing songs probably when I was like 16, hit puberty and I was like I need to channel these feelings somehow”.
“I started writing songs and they were shit but I started doing open mics and then eventually started taking it more seriously and then one day just went fuck it I’m gonna do music, it’s what makes me happy”.
Despite the quality progression in her music, one thing that stays consistent through Annabel’s songwriting is what she chooses to focus on.
“Most of my songs are from a place of honesty. They’re about real life experiences, situations with friends and things I’ve been through. I think writing about feelings makes people feel something in return”.
We take a brief pause between questions as her bandmates quickly scuffle into the room to get to the fridge, on their way out we exchange some laughs and they throw some band recommendations our way.
Later on stage, I watch on as Annabel and her bassist push their foreheads against each other to exaggerate the tension being built in the climax of her final song.
You wouldn’t be able to tell this was their first tour together as a band.
“I’ve done a few Southern little tours with me and the guitar but being with the band is really fun. It creates a different sound too, it’s a lot more punchy.”
But sadly the tour routine of “drive, get some kip, wake up, next show” can’t last forever.
“When the tour’s over we’re heading back into the studio, gonna make a couple of tracks. There’s not an album yet, I’m waiting for the right moment, it’s gotta be right.”
You could take a guess at what Annabel will be releasing soon by listening to her track Sofa Song which she released just before heading off on this tour. With gripping vocals and twangy hooks similar to the likes of Pip Blom, she’s definitely a talent to look out for.
From to Annabel’s track being Huw Stephens ‘Introducing Track of the Week’ to securing a spot at BBC Music’s The Biggest Weekend she is clearly a growing force to be reckoned with. What’s her advice for other young creatives hoping to reach her position?
“I guess just don’t give up and keep going. It’s all there to be yours if you want it to be enough. A quote I hold really dear to my heart is ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ it’s something my Dad always said to me growing up.”
“It’s so important especially as a creative as you’re constantly putting yourself out there so just be like ‘fuck it, I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do and see what happens’.”
Annabel Allum is a creative on a mission and with such fiery determination, it’s hard to think she won’t succeed.
By Seonaidh McGuire