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Local Artist Profile: Annelise

Posted by Karen Marchuska on 08/09 at 03:07 PM


Penn State junior Annelise Gaus didn’t realize she was holding onto a talent until it burst out of her. She thought that her writing wasn’t anything special, until she posted an original song on her Facebook to get back at an ex-boyfriend. And while the online diss felt good, all the praise she got for her song felt way better.

Since then, the accidental songstress has been writing up a storm and recently released her debut EP- Drifting.  “Knock, Knock,” the heartbreak song that started it all, is part of the EP as well as two other tracks: “Drifting” and “How You Forget.”  All three songs showcase Annelise’s piano playing and are in the vein of Sara Bareilles.  In “Drifting” you can hear the longing in her voice as she sings of finding someone who will say “I wanna be yours, forever yours.”  “Knock, Knock” starts as a happy song, singing of the joy of falling in love, but quickly turns somber when the newfound love betrays her trust.  “How You Forget” is a logical follow-up as it talks about walking away from a hardship stronger than before.  She posted YouTube videos of her singing “How You Forget” and “Knock, Knock” before the release, but for the title-track, “Drifting,” the EP was the first time anybody could hear it.  “It just came out of nowhere one day,” she said about writing it, “and then when I finished it I just held it, I wanted to wait for the right time.” And that right time came when her parents surprised her with the chance to record in a studio, in her hometown of Pittsburgh, for her birthday.  The resulting EP is a great debut for Annelise as it showcases her captivating lyrics and melodies.

Annelise has also had numerous performances around State College, the largest of which was at this year’s Fourth Fest.  “It was the biggest crowd ever,” she remarked.  “Last year I never would have thought I would be performing here, or anywhere, as a solo act.”  Annelise is a part of The Penn State Singing Lions, a student-run performance group, and also participates in musicals with the Penn State Thespians.  Though she enjoys the experiences she’s had with these groups, Annelise confessed that being a solo act does have its perks: “It’s just chill, if I mess up it’s on me, and that’s okay.”

As the school year approaches again, Annelise plans to continue writing and hopes that her EP will help her get more performance opportunities around State College.  As far as her newfound writing ability, she says, “I’m blessed to have found this talent and I’m going to go with it.  It’s become my journal.”

You can keep up with Annelise on her Facebook page and YouTube channel, and her music can be purchased here or on iTunes.

{name} Author: Karen Marchuska
Bio: Karen Marchuska is a junior majoring in Public Relations and minoring in English and Marketing at Penn State. She enjoys reading, running, chocolate milk and listening to any music she can get pumping though her headphones. Although she listens to a wide range of artists, some of her favorites are: Something Corporate, Jack's Mannequin, All Time Low, Yellowcard, The Ready Set, Drake, The Rocket Summer, Demi Lovato, Keith Urban, and The Summer Set.

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