How Annelise Peterson Learned to Sing

Statuesque social darling and Alberta Ferretti publicist Annelise Peterson has been exercising her inner rock star this summer, spending her

Statuesque social darling and Alberta Ferretti publicist Annelise Peterson has been exercising her inner rock star this summer, spending her weekends writing and recording ballads in a dank, makeshift recording studio in the East Village. And according to her producer and co-writer Kenyon Phillips, the girl can sing.

"She’s done about five sessions," said Mr. Phillips, who is 32. He recently finished recording his first album with his band Unisex Salon and has since opened up his recording studio, a converted bedroom in his apartment, to a variety of friends and aspiring artists. "I’ve known [Annelise] since she was 14 and I’ve always known her to be a great singer. She can channel a big, black diva à la Gladys Knight or Nell Carter from Gimme a Break."

"It’s been a great release," said Ms. Peterson, who went to prep school with Mr. Phillips. (The Daily Transom went there too!) "He makes me laugh. I don’t have that many opportunities to be creative, and we’ve just been having a lot of fun writing songs."

But she said a couple of their tunes are kind of catchy and may have commercial potential. She’s particularly fond of their song "Alone With Me," which Ms. Peterson called "a tragic love song inspired by the events of 9/11."

"She has trouble with sexually explicit content but she’s getting better," said Mr. Phillips. "We record naked with starter-level butt plugs in." Kidding!

Ms. Peterson, who is 29, is one of several artists Mr. Phillips has been working with in an ongoing project he’s calling Caught Under National Tragedy (or its more vulgar acronym). Other artists who’ve dropped by the studio include noted drag queen and cabaret artist Joey Arias; Spacehog drummer Johnny Cragg and frontman Royston Langdon; and several teenage girls Mr. Phillips has met on the street.

"At the moment, it’s purely therapeutic," he said, "but we’re going to start doing smaller club shows in the fall." How Annelise Peterson Learned to Sing