Annie Oakley, the indie-folk duo comprised of twin sisters Jo and Sophia Babb, is set to release their debut album Second Day of Spring on April 30th. The effort brims with lush harmonies from two mesmerizing singers, offering lyrics steeped in both heartbreak and hope. The first track off the album is “Arm’s Length”; watch the video, directed by fellow Oklahoma artist Samantha Crain, HERE.
Sophia and Jo were homeschooled and raised on about nine farmland acres just outside of Norman, OK. Their lives changed abruptly at 13, when their father, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, took his own life. “I am not afraid of telling people that my dad killed himself,” explains Sophia, calmly. “I am not afraid of talking about it at this point. Mental illness is such an undervalued issue that is not talked about enough.” Jo agrees. The loss pushed the girls to write, and their voices have been channeling that despair ever since.
Incorporating their experiences with a burgeoning optimism, Second Day of Spring emerges as a quiet confident triumph. The album opens with “How Could I Have Known”, a spellbinding meditation on the permanence of impermanence. “Forfeit” follows, encapsulating the soft resignation that comes with our turbulent times. Album standout “If I Were a Ghost” is a haunting, emotional tale of love and loss. The coming-of-age song “23rd Street” turns a corner and finds Annie Oakley on the other side of a harsh winter, poised and ready for spring, while the title track “Second Day of Spring” welcomes new life.
After discovering feminism at 15 years old, Sophia and Jo found themselves drawn to powerful women. They coincidentally came upon the real Annie Oakley, the female trailblazing sharpshooter from the 1890s. “With all of these motifs of this Western, badass woman coming at us, and our love of country and bluegrass music at the time, we thought, ‘Why not just call ourselves Annie Oakley?’,” Sophia says. Annie Oakley have played throughout Oklahoma and beyond, earning a grassroots following that included more established peers like Crain and Kierston White, who invited the duo to share their stages and open shows.
When asked what they hope listeners will take away from Second Day of Spring, Annie Oakley shares their hopes of serenity and gratitude. “I want them to hold the beauty of the world––to just have a feeling of contentment and to know there’s nothing really to do with that other than to just think, ‘I’m glad I’m alive today. I’m glad I get to see this,’” Sophia says. “There is still beauty, even amidst all the darkness.”