AUSTIN, Texas — Norwegian DJ/singer Annie may have taken three years to record her dance-pop debut, Anniemal, but she plans to shorten the window considerably for her second album and have it done by this fall.
How’s she going to do that? By throwing herself into madcap sessions with a slew of different producers, including ex-Smashing Pumpkins/ A Perfect Circle guitarist James Iha.
If that combination seems odd, then consider that Iha has already remixed Annie’s “Me Plus One” single (giving her electronic pop more of an indie-rock flavor; see “Annie Steps Away From The Turntable, Mans The Mic Full Time On Tour” ) and Anniemal has been embraced more by the rock crowd than pop — in the U.S., anyway.
In the past, Annie has worked with dance-pop-friendly collaborators, such as Richard X (M.I.A.), Röyksopp’s Torbjørn Brundtland and Op:L Bastards’ Timo Kaukolampi. She reteamed with British mash-up master Richard X on two songs for the as-yet-untitled new LP, including a cover of Stacy Q’s ’80s hit “Two of Hearts” and an original called “Remind Me of You.”
“The new songs are more club-oriented — still ’80s-sounding, but different,” Annie said at the recent South by Southwest music conference. “But to be honest, I never really know what things will sound like until I finish the album. I’m sort of in the middle of the album. There’s going to be a lot of different people, it’s going to be more diverse, but I’m not quite sure which direction the production will go.”
Annie’s not too worried about losing her core fanbase if she goes in a new direction; after all, “it’s not going to be a blues album or a country album,” she said, even though she’s already teased that just that very thing could happen (see “Stunning Norwegian DJ Makes Pop Even Hipsters Can Love”). “Maybe it’s because I’m a DJ myself [that] a lot of DJs are into my music,” she said.
After she finishes recording with Iha in New York, she’ll team up with French techno producer Alan Braxe (who worked on Stardust’s 1998 hit “Music Sounds Better With You”) and then some yet-to-be-named collaborators.
In the meantime, she’s putting out a new track called “Crush” (which she wrote as a teenager) as a single this summer, and she hopes to release another DJ Kicks-style remix compilation, for which she’s still getting the music cleared. “I’d like to put some Death From Above  on it, but we’re just putting it together now,” she said. “I’ll be going back to Norway in a month and record it then, so we can put it out as soon as possible.”
The wait shouldn’t be too long for her album, either, since she hopes to put it out by the end of 2006. “The record company might have a different idea,” Annie said, “but I’m in a hurry.”