Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Anaïs Mitchell

“And the big horns blowed and the pianos played/And the music rose to the old man’s ears/I guess those were the olden days/I guess those were the golden years,” sings Anaïs Mitchell on her new record The Brightness. This earnest nostalgia trip says a lot about the kind of art that this Vermont native has been creating since entering the underground folk scene in 2002. At a time when the music industry is playing the role of the slickest of defense attorneys, using flash and dazzle campaigns to distract us from the fact that their clients are terrible, Mitchell is an artist who grew up on a sheep farm. She makes small-sounding, big-thinking folk albums that play like a front-porch serenade. If she feels in a bit of a time warp, you can’t blame her.

With a clutch of quiet, ambitious songs in her arsenal, Mitchell recorded her now out-of-print debut, The Song They Sang When Rome Fell (2002), in a single afternoon in Austin, Texas. It was in Texas that Anais discovered the Kerrville Folk Festival, which honored her with the prestigious New Folk award in 2003. Soon thereafter, with the help of Michael Chorney and Chicago-based Waterbug Records, Anaïs released her second album, Hymns For The Exiled, in 2004. The stirring collection of guitar and voice cemented Mitchell’s status as a folksinger to watch, and the record eventually reached the ears of Ani DiFranco, a songwriter whose fusion of personal and political themes was a formative influence on a teenaged Mitchell. After seeing a few of Anaïs’ captivating concerts, DiFranco signed the artist to her label, Righteous Babe Records.

“If you knew what Ani DiFranco meant to me as a young woman and a young songwriter … well, I was simultaneously elated and in total disbelief,” Mitchell told a Vermont reporter after joining the RBRrrmy. “It seemed too good to be true.”

The same can be said about Mitchell’s Righteous Babe debut, which hits stores February 13, 2007. During the recording process, Anaïs lived above the studio, which was built into an old Vermont gristmill. She could wake up, shake the sleep out of her eyes and record tracks in her pajamas, resulting in a decidedly intimate listening experience. Spilling over with worldly metaphors, intense emotions and unshakeable reverence to the art of song, The Brightness shimmers with creative spark.

Anais Mitchell may sound to you as Joanna Newsom's twin sister. The voice, the singing, the sound and even the lyrics are very similar. If Joanna Newsom colored 2006, then the modern-folk female artist of 2007 could be Anais. Highly Recommended!

Anais Mitchell - Cosmic American (from Hymns For The Exiled)
Anais Mitchell - Two Kids (from Hymns For The Exiled)
Anais Mitchell - Your Founder Heart (from The Brightness)
Anais Mitchell @ MySpace

Feist - Open Season Remixes And Collabs (2006) !!!
Neverending White Lights - Act1: Goodbye Friends Of The Heavenly Bodies !!!
+ Blue October, Prince, James Blunt, Sky, Snow Patrol, etc.
Feist - Let It Die
Phoenix - United !!!
VA - Exit Music Songs With Radio Heads
CSS - Cansei De Ser Sexy
Girl Talk - Night Ripper
Brightblack Morning Light - Brightblack Morning Light
Chris Berry & Panjea - Dancemakers
Crosstide - Life As A Spectator
Joshua Radin - First Between 3rd & 4th
The Dresden Dolls - The Dresden Dolls
Laibach - Tanz Mit Laibach
The Killers - Sam's Town
The Cranberries - Albums
Youngblood Brass Band - Center:Level:Roar
Atomic Fireballs - Torch This Place


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ziggy, you're a rockstar!! thanks for the links (phoenix, feist, menomena)!!

i hope u get a link for the new The Magic Numbers album. thanks ziggy!

- dave from the philippines

4:21 PM  
Blogger Halo said...

thank you thank you thank you!!!!!

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used FeedBurner to determine my stats and Ive been getting a lot of hits because of my link on your website. Thanks! Amazing blog by the way. If you could find some post-rock or InstruMetal that would be great too.

12:38 AM  

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