From California but currently based in Germany, Anne Dorko has fit many lifetimes of experience into 29 years of life on planet Earth. Whether living out of a car on a 7-month USA road trip, taking a solo 30-day bicycle tour, or simply living abroad, Anne’s life mission has stayed constant: to help others discover and embrace the best, most authentic version of themselves. Anne’s work on her official debut single, “Versions of Me” is like that first hot cup of freshly brewed coffee in the morning. Life just doesn’t seem as good without it. After hearing this, you will need a second cup. She takes you back to the golden age of singer-songwriters, where the melody and message where imperative elements of any song. Her emotional intelligence cuts through in opening minutes of the song, just as much as her maturity born of added life experiences does.
She’s a singer-songwriter in the strict sense of the term, armed with an acoustic guitar, her voice, and a knack for turning thoughts and experiences into compelling and inspirational stories. On “Versions of Me” she hands out anecdotes of wisdom meant to spark and inspire, as she sing in the chorus: “A journey only counts if you’re learning. A journey should always set you free. A destination only matters if you know where you want to be. The question to ask yourself is, do I know how to be the best version of me.” This may sound like an obvious observation, but one so few of us actually apply as rigorously as we should.
“Versions of Me” is a reminder of just how much she is willing to lay bare. Stripped down to primarily a guitar arrangement, Anne displays a simplicity in her work that is refreshing in the current hi-tech music scene. Strumming her guitar in a free flowing rhythm across the track, evokes an eloquent journey-woman folk motif.
But the guitar doesn’t have to be central nor overly important to this record. If the singular quality of Anne Dorko is the crystal timbre of her voice, then that is what is deservedly celebrated on “Versions of Me”. The textures Anne creates with her vocals take the song so far beyond its foundation of acoustic guitar music.
The songs builds up as a declaration of discovery, autonomy and elevation; a declaration that everyone should feel boiling under their skin. “Versions of Me”, is a reminder that self-empowerment comes in many guises, but only if you really want it.
Of course, an artist’s personal life is always going to be part and parcel of their music, so I firmly believe we’re learning a lot about Anne Dorko here. “Versions of Me” can be viewed as a statement on her own emotional and intellectual states, and acts as a road-map for ours.
Centered and focusing on life moving forward, finding the best version of ourselves, is just the next, most important step in all of our lives.
You can catch Anne’s raw acoustic-pop music (originals and covers) on Twitch @AnneDorko most Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Meanwhile, follow Anne on Spotify and be sure to share the music with any friends who you think may connect with it.