Poe

Poe

An outdated message board is all it seems we’re able to go on in regards to the current status of Poe, the once popular performer and songwriter.

Poe - Hello

Hello (1995)

I’d wager that many people have heard of Poe, (born Annie Danielewski). Her debut album, Hello, arrived during the heavy wave of female songwriters that emerged in 1995, many now long forgotten. But Poe’s Hello stood out; she delivered a cool mix of rock, folk and synthesized elements and infused them with sharp and biting lyrics. She also demonstrated a seducing quieter side, effectively delivering songs like sweet “Beautiful Girl” and the groovy “Fingertips.”

The album’s lead single, “Angry Johnny” received a major radio push and its accompanying video was on major rotation on MTV. Follow-up singles, “Hello” and “Trigger Happy Jack” fared less successful, but did find a respectable market in dance clubs where remixes of the songs were often played.

Shortly after the release of Hello, Poe recorded her song “Today,” for the soundtrack for Great Expectations, a film starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke. That same year, she also released “A Rose Is A Rose” to the Lounge-A-Palooza compilation.

Poe also lent her voice to Fastball‘s second album, All The Pain Money Can Buy, and can be heard on their track, “Which Way To The Top?.” And in 1999, Poe recorded “Strange Wind” for the film, Anywhere But Here.

Poe - Haunted

Haunted (2000)

In 2000, five years after her debut, Poe finally returned with Haunted, which was released appropriately on Halloween Day in 2000. The album was unique in that in correlated with her brother, Mark Z. Danielewski’s, dark novel, House Of Leaves.

Adding to the album’s eerieness were audio samples that were laced throughout the record featuring her late father, film director, Tad Danielewski, who died of cancer in 1993.

Although Haunted received high praise from many critics and fans alike, it was due to poor promotion that the album was largely considered a commercial failure.

That same year, Poe made an appearance in Gossip, a film starring James Marsden and Kate Hudson. In it, Poe performs a cover of the Go-Go’s “Our Lips Are Sealed.” Poe’s version, titled “My Lips Are Sealed,” was to appear on the soundtrack, but the compilation never materialized.

In an attempt to promote her brother’s book, Haunted was re-released in 2001 with an extra song, “Hey Pretty (Drive-By 2001 Mix),” an alternate version of the original which featured Mark Z. Danielewski reading an excerpt from his book in-between Poe’s chorus. Unfortunately, it was this version that found the heaviest push to radio and subsequent singles failed to take flight.

Since Haunted, Poe has kept a very low profile. There were rumors that a third album was in the works, but that many of the songs she had left off of Haunted were not going to be available for her to use, due to contract disputes with her then record label, Atlantic.

It’s in the way they move and
They catch that simple groove and
They tell a story all there own about the human heart alone
I try to get a grip, but
I find I always slip on fingertips
~ Poe

Poe’s last known recordings have been with Conjure One, a musical project headlined by Rhys Fulber. Poe contributed to the tracks “Center Of The Sun” and “Make A Wish” on the self-titled album in 2002. She later contributed to three more songs on Fulber’s follow-up, Extraordinary Ways released in 2005, although she was now curiously credited only as Jane. These songs fall more into the realm of electronic music, but aren’t too far from Poe’s musical territory. She sounds great here and to many fans, I’m sure it’s just great to hear her voice.

In 2007, Poe’s brother released his second novel, Only Revolutions, in audio format, consisting of five reels. The fifth reel features a young Poe singing “Little Runaway,” a piano-laden song she wrote when she was a teenager.

Currently, Poe remains largely reclusive. Her official website is sparse, but is currently collecting MP3 files from readers wishing to record their dreams. Whether these are to be used for an upcoming album or are for another project entirely remains to be seen.

5 Comments

  • Anne says:

    *Gasp* Poe songs I don’t have?!
    Haunted was such an amazing album, it’s a shame that she hasn’t gotten the support (from sales or her management) to create more. Haunted was one of the few albums where it felt like this cohensive novel type album meant to be listened to as a whole and not piece meal songs stuck together. Gorgeous.

  • Robbie says:

    Anne: I completely agree with you. Haunted was a great, seamless album, much like a novel, but in music form. I hope she is able to release something new in the near future.

  • ali marcus says:

    I’m so glad to see this here! “Haunted” and “House of Leaves” have been seriously influential works for me over the years. I don’t think a week has gone by since i first read it that something somewhere doesn’t make me think of House of Leaves…thanks!

  • the electronics guy says:

    maybe pop music is threatened by such a talent! to listen to an album like haunted is like taking a trip to another place. i get chills just thinking about another album. she touches every level that great music should, lyrical talent, musical talent, arrangement, ARTISTIC US OF SOUNDS! i think i will fire up the martin logan, krell, and maridian and go for a trip tonight, escorted by poe herself. you have given so much, we only hope that you have more left to give. much love to poe

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