Anne Bennett “Heavy Hand”

We’re glad to announce that Salem, United States-based singer/songwriter Anne Bennett has released a new single, entitled “Heavy Hand.”

Salem, Massachusetts is well-known for its witchy past, possessing an eerie energy that might lead people away; however, Salem native Anne Bennett has absorbed the dark, mysterious nature of her hometown, channeling it into her melancholic music.

Bennett comes from a family of esteemed musicians, so her passion for music started early on, growing up in a house with a turntable continually spinning vinyl records. Bennett’s musical endeavors began at her dad’s home studio, where she recorded her first songs using a Casio keyboard, an acoustic guitar, and rewritable CDs; and even when her interests shifted during college, where she studied biology and chemistry, her interest in music did not fade away. As Bennett says, “The passion [for music] never disappeared…Once I started working as a scientist full-time, I began to pour tons of my money into equipment, guitar lessons, vocal lessons.” Bennett currently lives north of Salem in a historic New England home, where she’s recorded her upcoming singles in her own home studio–a place like where she began her musical journey growing up.

During the pandemic, Bennett joined The Songwriting Academy, a one-year, virtual UK-based commitment that brought her in touch with her mentor (and now friend), Paul Statham. Her time with notable mentors at The Songwriting Academy inspired Bennett to create music representing her true, beguiling self. A welcome change from current trends in music, Bennett’s sound is raw, honest, and nostalgic, with western goth elements.

Bennett cites PJ Harvey as a primary influence, and also finds inspiration in Mariah Carey’s fierce independence. Both musical influences challenge Bennett to push her limits and to make music that personifies her true attitude and aesthetic; while at the same time, Bennett’s upbringing in Salem and battles with depression have impacted her music as well, influencing her to create music that is heavy and haunting. Bennett’s unique creative vision can be heard on her debut single, “Deep in the Shadows,” (for which you can read our review here), where her vocals and melancholic lyrics echo brilliantly, threatening to shatter the track’s elegantly ethereal soundscape.

Anne Bennett’s latest single, “Heavy Hand,” was produced by Rory Carlile and released August 27th, 2021. Describing the songwriting process and inspiration behind the track, Bennett says:

I wrote this song during a road trip down south in the middle of a pandemic. I was on my way to a memorial service for a family member who was killed in a hit-and-run motorcycle accident. This trip was a sort of escape for me, because all year I felt like I was losing my mind, having no choice but to stay in one place…It pushed my depression to places it had never been. I was feeling so angry and defeated, not only about my cousin’s death but about the pandemic, and the lyrics just started to pour into my head on the road. ‘I am the almighty figure who owns this broken town,’ as if I was in fact the virus. Heavy Hand is a ‘you can run but you can’t escape’ type of song. I (the virus, depression, death) will always get you in the end.

I put the song together on the third floor of my 1730 historic home surrounded by candles and red lights, layering the vocal track down and some guitar chords and passing it along to the brilliant producer Rory Carlile who’s based in the UK.

“Heavy Hand” begins with the dark, gritty chords of a distorted electric guitar, while Bennett’s haunting vocal melodies soon join in, complementing the guitar quite well. The steady rhythms of the drums set the track into an almost march-to-the-music type of beat throughout its compelling lyrical passages, leading nicely into the catchy, pop-style chorus and a fuzz-distortion guitar lick; while later on, layered guitars and vocals intertwine synergically as the memorable chorus concludes the track. “Heavy Hand” is quite an enjoyable listen, highlighting Anne Bennett’s intrinsic talent for songwriting and song construction, as well as her excellent musicianship; I would highly recommend this track to fans of alternative rock.

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