Here And Now
Release Date: February 17, 2017
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Press Contact Bill Benson
Granted, when a band opts for a handle like Annabelle’s Curse, it does tend to sound a little ominous. One has to wonder, who is this Annabelle, and what’s brought about this streak of bad luck? Fortunately though, there’s no need to over analyze. Listening to the bright, effusive sounds that this band brings forth is all the reassurance needed.
The group hasn’t had the best of luck when it comes a certain volatility that’s impacted their instrumental arsenal — more about that later — but when it comes to making music, the prospects are promising indeed. Since the band first formed in 2010, the five current members — Tim Kilbourne (Voice, Guitar, Banjo), Zack Edwards (Guitar), Carly Booher (Mando, Voice), Travis Goyette (Drums), and Tyler Luttrelle (Bass) — they’ve followed a steady trajectory that’s not only resulted in three superbly impressive albums and a soon-to-be-released EP, but also made them festival favorites at several major musical gatherings in their region of the world.
So never mind any dire designs. Annabelle’s Curse is anything but troubling. Upbeat, infectious, inspired, and flush with a celebratory stance that’s evident in every performance, the band’s approach defies definition but consistently connects with an emotional embrace. “We’re very rhythmic and we have a great deal of drive,” Edwards maintains. “It brings us great joy…so much so that people often comment on how great it is to watch us, because they can tell we love what we are doing. We carry a very strong message, but it doesn’t really fit or even want to fit in a genre. We make a spontaneous sound that just seems to happen.”
“When things first started, the goal was to write good music with a positive message,” Kilbourne suggests, citing influences as varied as Grizzly Bear, Doomtree, Chris Thile, Iron and Wine, The Band, Josh Ritter, Bon Iver, Run the Jewels, Hudson Mohawke, and Modest Mouse. “It was all about the craft of songwriting, and never really about anything more. It just kind of grew from that. We’re still doing the same thing on a slightly bigger scale. We’re still focused on making better music as we go along.”
“We have kind of strayed from our roots a little more with each new album, leaning a little more on the electric side of things,” Edwards observes. “That’s also allowed for us to get weirder with our effects and textures. With each album, we’ve put a lot more effort and a larger budget towards the sound production. Over time, we’ve gained more conviction, confidence and certainty in our sound. The music has kind of grown up along with us.”
The group’s new EP, Here and Now (due for release February 17, 2017), was produced by Bill Moriarty and Zach Goldstein. “This is the crew that we worked with for Worn Out Skin,” Edwards explains. “We were very adamant about working with them again. After all, why fix something that isn’t broken? If anything, spending the last recording session together allowed us to break those initial barriers amongst ourselves. It’s hard to communicate musical and creative ideas with strangers. So now that we’ve already overcame that obstacle and when we got to the studio, we were able to hit the ground running.”
Oh yes… the name. Suffice it to say, it’s far from foreboding but somewhat spooky all the same. It seems that on the night of the band’s first show, their new upright bass, which they had named Annabelle, was dropped in the parking lot, leaving only two strings that still functioned.
“The show went on,” Edwards recalls. “The day we got her back from the luthier she fell over and broke the glass door at Tim’s house. A while later, the back separated off of the body. It became apparent that something was not right. Hence the curse.”
“It didn’t stop with just the bass,” Kilbourne adds. “It’s transcended into just about everything we do. There was a show where Zack broke a guitar string and it literally swung over from the headstock of the guitar and into the power socket, effectively blowing the power for the whole bar. Annabelle’s replacement, Sophia Thor, once fell over onto a heater and was smoldering when we got back. Another few hours would probably have led to a house fire. These stories are endless…We’ve just taken it as a sign that we need to push to be more electric.”
Indeed, despite these snafus, and the challenges that come with being away from family, friends and pets — not to mention the difficulty of driving a nearly 20 year old Dodge van with over 200,000 miles racked up so far — it all pales in comparison to the rewards and satisfaction that’s come with creating a very special musical tapestry.
“We’ve been able to share a piece of ourselves with the world,” Edwards reflects. “We’ve met fans that have used our music to get through hard times. Plus, we get to play music together with our best friends. What more could anyone want?”
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