For this edition of Off The Stage, we check in with Americana singer/songwriter Annie Dressner

For most casual fans of music, the forty-five minutes that a band spends on the stage is all they can see. However, when the guitar cases are closed and the venue’s floor is littered with empty beer cans and trash, most bands load their gear into the van and return back to their normal lives. However, 2020 has been anything but normal.

Mother Church Pew’s Off The Stage is a series that celebrates a band’s path to where they are and the things they do behind the scenes to stay there. That includes checking in to see how the artists are coping with big challenges of this year. We are proud to let the artists share with you a bit of their lives with through their own words.

Without Further Ado, here’s Annie Dressner sharing a few behind the scenes moments on living life during the COVID-19 pandemic and creating new music:

From Annie: Oh, lockdown. A time where one can feel most alone, but also knows that the entire world is in it together!  My experience in lockdown has kept my perspective on what is truly important in check.  At the beginning of lockdown, my children were two and five.  I felt very overwhelmed, and mostly for them and their well-being.  I was also quite scared, with so many unknowns and such big changes.  I was also very homesick, because I am from NYC but live in England and had to cancel my trip home to see my family.

Annie Dressner behind the scenes for Mother Church Pew

I spent the first few months trying to mimic my son’s Kindergarten school schedule.  My husband was the lunch man and he was called Mr. Slithers.  We would go out at the allowed hour a day, and we taught our kids to ride bikes behind the back of a restaurant near the dumpsters and visited the tadpoles until they were eaten by the swans. 

Annie Dressner with her children at a pond, behind the scenes for Mother Church Pew Blog

We made the most of it.  I kept reminding my kids how lucky they were to have one another to play with and that the amount of cleaning that we were doing was not normal – but just for now.  I did homeschool and was incredibly fun — for the first few months.  Then I burnt out!  (Don’t worry, I’m still fun – but with a lot less energy and definitely more lenient with tv.). I also did yoga for 40 days in a row at 6am until I took a day off and haven’t exercised since.

Annie Dressner behind the scenes for Mother Church Pew riding a bike

This year has been hard. I have been so overwhelmed with keeping my children happy and trying my best to hide my fears from them, I did not want to write any songs about lockdown or how I felt about it – to me, it was bigger than something I could write.  I write such personal songs, and lockdown is a worldwide issue – not my own to pen.  However, as time went on, I did start to play little-by-little. It finally felt good to play and that I was able to make some more room for that in my life.

Over the past few months, I’ve been focused on preparing for my album Coffee At The Corner Bar to come out.  That has made me work on music more and play again, and I needed that.  I’ve been doing some online gigs here and there and booking some live ones under the tour title ‘Will They Actually Happen?”  I made two music videos of my songs Pretend (on zoom) and my song Midnight Bus which was a co-write with Matthew Caws (Nada Surf). [“Midnight Bus” was also featured on the Pew Playlist.]

Annie Dressner by Elly Lucas promo shot for album Coffee at the Corner Bar
Photo by: Elly Lucas

I’ve realized how little I need, how nice it is to be in nature, and how quickly my kids are growing up.  I think I will take less for granted, and I hope that our kids remain as close as they have become. I still feel like we are in the thick of it, even with the kids just back at school, but for now, I am trying to take it a day at a time and get as much work done as I can.  My main hope, and concern, is that my children will be okay in the long-term and that the world can heal together and soon.  I’ll keep making music, and maybe in a few years, I’ll even write a song about this time.

Coffee at the Corner Bar was released on September 4th.

Connect with Annie Dressner on Social Media:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Spotify

Featured Image by Elly Lucas

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