Dropper is the brainchild of Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Andrea Scanniello, who finally steps into the spotlight as a vocalist and songwriter after many years playing guitar, bass or keys in other projects. A veteran of Brooklyn’s indie rock scene, Scanniello previously played in High Waisted and Stuyedeyed, and has filled out the line-ups of TVOD, Russian Baths and Saara Untracht-Oakner (Boytoy, SUO)’s solo projects, among others.
She comes from a long line of musicians and has played music since childhood, but says she “was always too shy to show people music that I was writing. I was like, well I’ll just play guitar, I’ll play keys. It’s fine. I don’t mind being in the background.”
She is in the background no longer. Joining longtime collaborators Jono Bernstein (also of High Waisted), Yukary Morishima and Larry Scanniello, Dropper releases their first LP Don’t Talk To Me on February 11, 2022, and they’re premiering their first-ever single from the project, “Don’t Worry,” today on Audiofemme.
The album is two years in the making, written and recorded pre-COVID, something Scanniello patiently sat on while she awaited the return of live music. “I don’t want to release anything if I can’t play a show,” she said. “I [didn’t] want to put it out in the middle of the pandemic, because we’re so new, that I just didn’t want it to get lost in the Internet shuffle.” The band will have the opportunity to preview the album on a handful of Midwest tour dates with Habibi later this month.
The record lays bare Scanniello’s personal journey through her twenties in nine tracks. She wrote it while she scraped by with a series of service industry jobs and all that comes with them: the late nights, the drinking, the shallow friendships born of participation in a scene. What started as an exercise in healing after a bad break-up became more introspective, a personal inventory of life thus far, the habits that weren’t serving her and the things she’d like to change about herself.
“For a while I was kind of caught up,” she says. “Going out too much, partying too much, and then being anxious because you’re partying too much, and not feeling really connected to anything you’re doing, general bad feelings.” She laughs. “Trying to work through that.”
In the band’s press release, they say they write music for “People who have worked in the service industry too long and become curmudgeons at the ripe old age of 26. People who are lonely yet want to be left alone. People who drink because they are sad but also sad because they drink. Bisexuals with crumbs in their bed. Optimistic pessimists. Those with seasonal allergies. But overwhelmingly for people who, in lieu of being crushed by the eternal weight of existence, choose to scream internally with a smile upon their face.”
And it lands squarely at this nexus, emotionally astute in a way that speaks to Scanniello’s self-awareness and chops as a songwriter. “Don’t Worry” is peak Dropper, in that it encompasses the entire weight of the album with these words: “I do it to myself.” The track negotiates the happy medium between what Scanniello calls “sad girl singer-songwriter kind of stuff” (your Angel Olsens and Waxahatchees) and the heavier, psychier aspects of the Brooklyn music scene, with nods to all the bands Scanniello has lent her talents to. It hits a nerve emotionally, but one can imagine the energy of a raucous, PBR-soaked crowd growing as the track’s energy builds from the opening licks to the multi-faceted explosion of sound that drops in after the bridge. The irony is that it’s exactly this kind of scene that led Scanniello’s songwriting to this place to begin with.
She says this track particularly speaks to “the amount of times in my life I woke up hungover, being like what the fuck am I doing with my life? But then realizing it’s my fault, these are choices that I’m making, and I could easily change these things but I’m choosing not to.”
This type of reflection and self-realization is frequently the catalyst for the type of change she’s referring to, a journey I imagine we’ll see play out alongside Dropper’s journey as a band. In the meantime, you might bask in the sharp empathy of this first offering, that you’re not the only one who feels this way.