Tag Archives: annabel

INTERVIEW WITH DOWSING

Who doesn’t like Dowsing?? If you just raised your hand then click off this site, shut your laptop and have a long hard think about your life!! Dowsing are one of the most likeable bands currently playing music, they recently toured Europe to great acclaim. At the end of this tour they were stuck on a 15 hour layover in Helsinki which they live tweeted, towards the end of this I decided to take advantage of their good nature and pushed them for an interview. Thankfully they happily said yes and here it is, all questions were answered by Singer/Guitarist Erik.

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Is This Thing On?: It’s still pretty terrible; it’s just going to get worse. Has it got any better yet?

Erik: I don’t even care anymore.

ITTO?: ‘It’s just going to get worse’ is a compilation of demos and covers etc… How did the idea for the album come about and how did you choose what to include on the album?

Erik: We thought as a band it be cool to make a discography tape of sorts to compile our musical accomplishments thus far.  However, once our van died on the way back from Stay Sweet Fest I thought putting up some unreleased/songs without homes on a release to raise funds for the van would be more of an incentive to others to help us with the costs. We were overwhelmed with the response and help from fans, family, and friends.  We had been discussing the tape with Jacob (Keep It Together) and Keith (Count Your Lucky Stars) and once they saw the 10 “rarities” playlist they thought it be neat to expand upon that idea and make it a longer release.  The best part is that I have really weird demos and live recordings of all of our songs so we were able to make it this chronological discography tape that we had desired from the start.  The cover songs were just fun to add as hidden tracks since most have never had a proper release and the comps they were for never came to fruition.

ITTO?: I missed your recent tour of Europe, but all my emo friends thought you were awesome. How was it for you? What kind of reaction did you get?

Erik: The tour was simply amazing.  Our friend Tommy Royds, who makes a zine called Zine & Not Heard, booked us the trip of a lifetime.  The reaction was more incredible than I could have ever imagined and I can’t thank all the people involved with making our trip successful enough.  When kids you’ve never met sing along to your songs it is always a bizarre and wonderful experience, but when kids who do not speak English as their first language are screaming in your face it is a completely different ballgame.  Europe rules and we are going to come back soon.

ITTO?: What did you learn from touring Europe that you would have never found out if you weren’t in a band?

Erik: European hospitality is outstanding and unmatched.  People were far too kind to our scruffy smelly faces (sans Delia).  Can you say band lofts?

ITTO?: Did you fall in love with any of your support bands? If so, who?

Erik: One of the strangest things was that most of our shows were booked as just Annabel and us.  This was scary at first, but it turned out to be fantastic.  Kids actually came when we didn’t have support bands which I found crazy and flattering.  So my favorite support band by default would be Annabel.  They are the best band in the world if you didn’t know that.  To answer your question though I would have to say Nai Harvest and Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson without a doubt.

ITTO?: Do you have any plans to come back?

Erik: You know it! We have to get our sorry selves to the West Coast first though.

ITTO?: What plans do you have for a new studio album?

Erik: New LP is coming out August 13, 2013.

ITTO?: Hooray!!!! Can you give us some background about the new album. Where you recorded? How long it took? Who you recorded with? Etc…

Erik: I Don’t Even Care Anymore was tracked and mixed in Chicago, IL by Matt Jordan (Stay Ahead of the Weather, Cut Teeth, Lifted Bells) at Atlas Studios and the Stay Ahead House.  It took 4 days to track and 1 day of mixing.  It was our first time not going to Rockford, IL to record and our first time not recording with Chris French.

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ITTO?: Is there a theme to the new record?

Erik: The record deals with my last relationship and my inner struggles to make myself happy and finally getting over it all.

ITTO?: What process do you follow when making a new album? Do you write as a band? Do you have everything ready and complete when you enter the studio?

Erik: It is a mix of all of those things.  I usually write and demo 85% of the songs (lyrics, guitar parts, key ideas).  I then show them to the band and ask them to help me flesh it all out.  Sometimes we don’t get to the B-sides and end up finishing them in the studio.  I think it is a good mix for us.

ITTO?: There seems to be a lot of Dowsing side projects, are you all now involved in one? Is Dowsing always your priority?

Erik: Until recently I had believed Delia was not in another band but I can no longer confirm this because she posted something on tumblr about starting a keyboard band.  I play in two other bands called Kittyhawk, and Pet Symmetry.  Marcus plays in Pet Symmetry, Mountains for Clouds, and The Please & Thank Yous. Gooey and Mikey both play in a band called Per Aspera.  With all these side projects though I would say Dowsing is definitely all our top priority.

ITTO?: The so-called emo revival is still going strong. What emo revival band do you think will be the equivalent of Jimmy Eat World and make it big? Which one will renounce emo and make a pretty awful Britpop sounding record? And which one will make two classic albums, split up, find God and then reform?

Erik: This might be my favorite question of all time.

– Modern Baseball because they will.

– Dowsing because why not.

– Old Gray because Cam.

ITTO?: I missed you on tour in the UK because my daughter, Indigo, had just been born. We were in the labour suite for 5 hours and ‘It’s still pretty terrible’ was one of the albums that sound tracked Indigo’s birth. What music would you want your baby to be born to?

Erik: ❤ I am glad we could help bring forth new life.  This has to be one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard our band involved with.  Thank you for letting us be apart of this life changing event.  My babies will be born to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.”

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ITTO?: Dowsing thank you so much!!!

Dowsing’s new record, ‘I Don’t Even Care Anymore’, will be released through Count Your Lucky Stars in August. ‘It’s just going to get worse’ is currently available to stream/download HERE

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Review: Annabel – Youth in youth

Band – Annabel

Album – Youth in Youth

Label – Count Your Lucky Stars

If you’re anything like me then you’re the sort of person who likes to start figuring out your top 10 albums of the year from about January. Come November you have a pretty established idea of what that list is, who’s on it and in what order. And if you are anything like me then when you hear the new Annabel record, ‘Youth in youth’, you’re going to have to rethink that whole list. Let’s get something straight from the start, this album is brilliant.

Annabel are from Kent, sadly not the Kent in England in which I live but the one in Ohio, USA. This is their second full length LP and if you’re getting down about how cold, wet and miserable the weather is then you need this record. It may be horrible outside but one listen to ‘Youth in youth’ and it’ll be summer again. There is so much warmth, joy and happiness emanating from the music on this album it can’t help but lift your spirits. It’s hard to pinpoint an accurate description of the beautiful sound that Annabel creates but I will give it a bloody good try nonetheless. Think pop, but an indie pop and also think of the grand, lush emo that Appleseed Cast are famous for and now add a triumphant joy to this too. Imagine what it would sound like if the Polyphonic Spree covered the whole of ‘Mare Vitalis’, now scrap that thought and just go and listen to the record itself because I know I’m just confusing matters.

There is a theme to the record about growing up, what happens when you do and what constitutes being an adult. The first song on the album, ‘Young American’, begins with the line “So much for adulthood and all the things that I was looking forward to” and then continues in this vein. The lyrics which tell of confusion and disappointment juxtapose with the confidence and grandeur of the music. It gives the album certain openness, they’re not shying away and hiding at all, instead they’re choosing to stand proud. There are anthems on this record, ones you can easily identify with and ones that will get stuck in your head and refuse to leave. There is no letting up for the first four songs , these are some of the catchiest songs you will hear all year with ‘Anti-decisions’ and ‘Risk/reward’ doing battle with each other over which one you’ll not stop singing to yourself for days on end. The instrumentals ‘Theme from home’ and ‘Rapids’ offer the only and briefest respites on the whole album. The second half of the album has a drop in the pace here and there without the slightest loss of quality and with more potential for mass sing-alongs courtesy of ‘The dept. of mutual appreciation’ and ‘You could be living better’. The record finishes with the lovely ‘Our days were numbered’ which is pure Weezer. By which I mean good old Weezer rather than the more recent, mediocre Weezer. It’s a brilliant ending to an incredible record.

What more can be said? Annabel are a band that knows their craft, they write brilliant and beautiful pop songs and ‘Youth in youth’ is practically a faultless album. I say practically, I’ve yet to find fault with any of it but that could just be that I’m so blinded by the love I have for this record right now. I have played this record nonstop and can’t see myself tiring of it anytime soon. I hope it brings you as much joy as it has done to me. Well done Annabel

For more info click HERE for the Annabel site

Or pre order the record HERE

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