In Nashville, Brooke Annibale is another talented musician trying to make a name for herself amongst the droves of independent musicians looking to have their voices heard. On Sat., March 9, though, she's coming home to Pittsburgh for the release of her new EP Words in Your Eyes — and she'll get to enjoy a moment where she can stand out as a Pittsburgh-born songwriter. She's quickly drawing attention here and elsewhere, and says that her Pittsburgh upbringing "inspires who I am as a person, so I'm sure it also influences my music."
Annibale's musical talent was already in full development during her time growing up here; she compiled a full-length album while still in high school, but moved on to study music at Nashville's Belmont University in 2005. She returned to Pittsburgh for a spell, but the draw of her newfound connections in Nashville quickly pulled her back there.
"A lot of people that I had gone to school with were starting to work in studios," she says, "so it made it easier to record." She adds that the similarities between the two cities have made the transition easier, noting that "a lot of the things that I love about both towns are really similar."
Since her return to Nashville, Annibale's songwriting has truly come into its own. Her 2011 LP, Silence Worth Breaking, was the first album she had recorded in Nashville, and by far her most polished. It's a fairly mellow album, but don't mistake mellow for bland. The album is rife with heartfelt tracks that display Annibale's ability to stir emotion without overstating the mood. Last month, she followed it up with Words in Your Eyes, a six-track EP that boasts a very full sound, derived from teaming up with Nashville musicians Eleonore Denig, Tim Lauer and Justin March.
As much as she loves her opportunities in Nashville, Annibale sees her future back home eventually. "I see a lot of promise in coming back to Pittsburgh," she says, "because its art scene is flourishing." For now, though, both she and the arts scene need some time to grow before they're ready for a long-term reunion.