Exploring the softer hues of her new solo album...

Annie Hart is perhaps best known for her involvement with Au Revoir Simone, a cult group whose output traverses pop's electronic left field.

New album 'A Softer Offering' is out now, and it's a subdued, twilight return, one dominated by subtle tones and sparse arrangements.

The emotional pull of each song takes Annie Hart's music into a fresh space, with 'A Softer Offering' existing in a gentle, yet fiercely independent, zone.

Clash caught up with Annie Hart to discuss a few of the Influences rippling through the project.

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J Mascis - 'Circle'

I sang to this song over and over again when I was recording my record. I love the way he sings in general, but on this cover in particular he has that incredibly intimate and emotionally connected delivery that I really wanted in my record. It’s quiet and melancholy without whining.

It was one of the first times I’ve ever copied anyone’s singing.

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Phil Collins - 'Take Me Home'

I took the idea of the repeating sequenced background pattern in this song for 'Longing To Care Less' - I wanted to recreate those ebbs and flows in the other instruments and vocals that make the repeating part hide and peek out.

I think it adds such a hooky rhythm to the song and keeps my brain fixed to it.

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Julie Byrne - 'Natural Blue'

It was an obsession with 'Not Even Happiness' that got me thinking about making a quiet album in the first place.

When making my own music, I’m often confounded by the idea of making something that seems like it’s been made so many times over, for example, a lady singing with a soft guitar. But Julie Byrne convinced me deeply that this is a genre that still has plenty of life to breathe into it and writing is about what you put of yourself into the music.

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Carl Stone - 'Banteay Srey'

This was one of the first songs I loved that was more about sounds than melodies. It weaves these soft, winding threads together to a song of utter beauty and perfection.

There are tones and parts in there you could sing, but they are created in this world of shifting sands rather than hitting you in the face with them. It was an utter revelation.

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Gia Margaret - 'Groceries'

'There’s Always Glimmer' was another huge inspiration for me on this record.

I was scared to put out something so soft, but when I looked at what I was listening to the most, it was all extremely gentle and quiet music. I love how understated and simple this song is, lyrically and musically. Like 'Banteay Srey', it also has wobbly tones, but accompanied by a quietly direct voice that brings you right into the storytelling.

You feel like you can see the story, but the feelings are things that you feel in your own life. And this song in particular has a ray of hope lurking in the sadness.

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'A Softer Offering' is out now.

Photo Credit: Sebastian Kim

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