Anna Rest Easy is the solo project of singer/songwriter Ruth Dixon, from pop-folk band Pocket Satellite. Launched in 2013, Ruth covers genres such as film music, romantic piano music, and Nordic dream pop. We caught Ruth’s show at The Good Ship, Kilburn, on 21 April, and were entranced, transfixed, and heartily amused by her set.
Whimsical with an occasional edge of the macabre, Anna Rest Easy’s lyrics are melancholic and beautiful, sewn together seamlessly with intricate melodies.
We were reminded a LOT of Amanda Palmer’s solo work, and wonder if Ms Palmer is an inspiration for Ruth. If not, then we recommend she listen to her!
For the first half of the set, Ruth was accompanied by her “very Scottish” friend on backing vocals. First song, “Mathilde”, is sinister yet witty, presented in a comic nursery-rhyme style. We must comment at this time on Ruth’s stage presence – her patter is top-notch, with comments such as, “A friend tried to tell me that I couldn’t play piano and tambourine at the same time…I’ve not spoken to him since” (she did manage this by way of a foot tambourine).
Our favourite song of the evening was “Dressing Room B” – a song about a depressed understudy. It actually was very thought-provoking with lyrics such as – “you wouldn’t follow me home or send a pic to a magazine” and “How can I shine when I’m crying in Dressing Room B”. So true – the understudy often works just as hard as the main cast member, sometimes harder, but they’re the unsung hero of the show.
Ruth followed this up with a song from her forthcoming album, “Retrospectre”, which will come out this August. We missed the title of it, but again, a lyrically challenging song, with lines like, “Fame is breeding” – the premise of the song being that there’ll soon be nobody who isn’t famous. A sobering thought.
A song based on the Lars von Trier film of the same name, “Melancholia” featured very strong keyboards, telling us the story of the lonely astronaut. Emotional, evoking feelings of pain and sadness – Ruth sang, “The hands upon my watch stand still”. It’s inspired us to watch the film.
A cover of “Memorial”, by Norwegian singer, Susanne Sundfør, perfectly showed off the power of Ruth’s voice, as well as her expert piano (not to forget her foot tambourine skills!). Ruth sold copies of her current album, “Shrink Wrap” at her show, and we were very pleased we bought one.
Following Memorial, Ruth wrapped up the show with “Country Girl”, a song about bullying, and “Interval”, a more humorous piece. Both featured her brother Tom on violin.
We enjoyed Anna Rest Easy very much, and will be attending her next performance on 5 May, at the Alley Cat Bar, London.