Whatever you are doing, stop. Whatever you were saying, silence. Heed the words of Annie Dang, “There ain’t no time for talking. Oh no, ain’t no time. Take it to the dance floor and shake!”
Portland Oregon’s Annie Dang is raising the ghosts of funky Motown soul. With the slap of a snare drum, the thump of a kick, and a jazzy horn section crackling with energy, Dang is bringing it back. With her new single “Shake,” Annie conjures a sound that I didn’t know I needed until I heard it. Now I want more.
Annie started her journey and honed her skills in Portland’s underground music scene as a singer and guitarist. However, on her debut EP “Shake! Introducing Annie Dang,” she delivers a rhythm that is far removed from the coffee shops of the Pacific Northwest. Like Aretha Franklin playing call-and-response with The Sweet Inspirations, she belts out a soulful groove that sounds like it came right out of Hitsville U.S.A.
To pull off this vibe with any authenticity, it takes a rare talent with equal parts skill, power and attitude. Annie has all of the above in droves. It also takes a great song, and “Shake” definitely fits the bill. The band pops like an overcharged battery. To maintain a groove this funky, the players need to be economical and stay in their lane. They do it, but each with a barely contained kinetic energy. It is exciting.
The airtight arrangement allows Annie to pull out all the stops. Her soulful and commanding voice is matched only by the crafty wordplay of her lyrics. There are so many great lines in this song I wish i could quote the entire thing. Take her funky breakdown in the bridge, for example. “Momma gave me a pair of sticks. Now I got a hat and a kick. I like the way it goes boom, boom. I like the way it goes boom, boom.” That is just plain cool.
If “Shake” doesn’t make you wanna get up and dance, you better check your pulse. Check it out on The Deep Indie Dive playlist. And follow the links below to connect with Annie Dang.