We raved about a lot of new artists last year, and whilst a chunk did a good job at introducing themselves to our ears, there was one artist in particular who tickled our fancy the most. Annabel Lee left a good first impression with two singles that proudly displayed their worth, often leaving us in awe. Debut “Go Girl” did well but it was the following single “Up” that really did a number on us – making it’s way on our prestigious Top Singles of 2018 list.
In a way, you could say that Annabel Lee is on the Up…but in other words, we’re very pleased to bring her back for an interview – the very first interview of 2019! In this showdown of words, we discuss what got Annabel involved in music, the context of “Up” and any future plans. Enjoy.
AN INTERVIEW WITH | ANNABEL LEE
Hey Annabel, how’s it going? “It is definitely going.”
First of all, what got you into music and making music? “My mother put me into classical piano lessons when I was 4 and that was the beginning for sure. I did that for 10 years and started playing guitar around 13. Once I hit high school I started playing shows and writing pretty prolifically- ( the magic of puberty ) I got my start playing at blues jams and open mics around Massachusetts, and my first real shows were opening for hardcore bands at legion halls.”
You’ve recently released your latest single ‘Up’. What can you tell us about it? “’Up’ was one of the first songs I wrote after relocating to LA. I had been doing some work on a project for a while that was initially why I moved here, and to avoid that long winded story- it didn’t work out. Nothing coming of that kind of crushed me and reminded me where I started from, totally chopped my ego down and forced me to start from scratch again.
So glad it happened, because now I’m hungrier than ever. But ‘UP’ is a song for my artist community. We’ve all had so many let downs, and a lot of times if feels like we’re doing everything right and still nothing comes of it, but it’s all part of the process. We’re all still pushing and going for it- which is the point.”
You’ve also been the feature of a video by your filmmaker friend Christofer Camargo. How did the idea of that come about? “Chris is such an asset to the LA music/art community. He’s a huge supporter of so many artists out here, and has always been so encouraging to me personally. He’s started up this cool minidoc video series and for some reason thought I’d be a good guinea pig to do the first one with haha. It was lovely. We drank Modelo and sat on my roof mostly, talked about life and art. Surviving LA, that kinda thing.
He’s such a warm spirit, and I felt pretty comfortable divulging some personal stuff. I think he did a wonderful job with it. He also laughs at my cynical/east coast humor which makes me feel cool haha.”
In the video you mention your new album. What can you tell us about it and when could we possibly begin to hear it? “I’ve released two singles from it so far, you can find those on all of the streaming platforms now. But the rest of the album won’t be released for a bit longer. Got lots of things in the works and trying to drop things in a smart and strategic way. Gotta keep em’ wanting more!”
What I dig most about your music is the boldness of it, and the attitude it has to throw middle fingers to most things whilst caring deeply about the things that matter most. Was this the sound you wanted to make from the start or just a matter of circumstance in the music we’ve heard from you so far? “Thank you for saying that. I’ve never gone into songwriting with the intention of anything quite so specific, but I definitely feel most comfortable working with my anger. I have lots to go around haha.
It’s productive for me mentally, and I think a lot of times it’s fun for other people to feel mad too because it’s one of those things that people are always suppressing it. Being other things is easier in public, people usually understand. But when you get mad people think you’re out of control, or that you’re out of line- but it’s right under the surface. We’re just so conditioned to bury it. Don’t get me wrong, I have other colors- but red’s always been my favorite.
There are plenty of things I’m quite passionate about; one of them is being understood. I’ve definitely become a lot less worried in my writing over the past few years, I’ve been far more generous with information than I used to be. It seems more useful to be honest these days, and it’s so much more gratifying to give somebody something that you have to spill your guts for and carve the f*** out. Growing up? Maybe.”
As 2018 is over, what were some of your favourite albums? “Oh man. My friends all released badass music this year!!! There’s too many to name. But it’s cool that I mostly listen to my friends now. They keep me pushing and feeling motivated creatively always. What an island of misfit toys we are. I love em all. Dan Graydon’s ‘Elated’ is currently on repeat. Check him out.”
Finally, if you could close out this interview with one final thought, what would it be? “I’m really looking forward to 2019. I think it will be a really exciting time for my community. Everyone’s revving their engines right now and it’s beautiful. Feeling energized by everyone around me lately. Definitely hoping to be playing some bigger shows and making so much work.”