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Annabelle’s Curse – Foul Beast

 

ARTIST NAME: Annabelle’s Curse

 

SONG TITLE: Foul Beast

 

ALBUM TITLE: Vast Oceans

 

RELEASE DATE: May 22, 2020

 

GENRE: Indie Rock

 

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Granted, when a band opts for a handle like Annabelle’s Curse, it does tend to sound a little ominous. One must 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 to 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 us to get weirder with our effects and textures. With each album, we’ve put a lot more effort and a larger budget towards 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 overcome 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 from 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 smouldering 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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Tell us how you develop your sound and style to make it different from other musicians.

In creating music, my goal has always been to create something from my heart without much influence from outside sources.

 

When working on an album, I try to not listen too much to other music as subconsciously I am inspired by others’ work.

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Tell us your opinion on the way new artists are coming up and the frequent release of songs.

The music industry is extremely saturated these days so sometimes even the best artists don’t get as much recognition as they deserve.

 

To stay relevant, I think it’s important for an artist to keep pushing forward and introduce new music to their audience as often as possible.

 

Attention spans are getting shorter, so you’ve got to find a way to maintain some limelight.

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Tell us about your experience as a musician/artist.

I’ve always been a musician who finds writing, playing, and singing as a therapy for dealing with depression and other emotions.

 

When I write songs, I am trying to satisfy my own need for a creative outlet.

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Tell us your opinion on streaming and digital download of songs.

Though money revenue has been lost due to people buying fewer albums, I think that streaming is a beautiful thing because it allows for the spread of music with little to no barriers.

 

Used to be that an audience could only hear your music if you sold them an album or they bought it online, but now anyone can hear your music if it’s in the right place to listen.

 

The music industry is constantly evolving, but I do think that it’s a great thing that people can hear new music and spread it easily.

 

Also, in a time of COVID-19, streaming music is now the only way to be heard. Playing shows may not happen quite the same for a long time.

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Tell us your goals and plans.

My goal is to get our music to as many people as possible.

 

I guess some people are seeking fame and fortune, but I find comfort in knowing that my songs and music have helped, inspired, or motivated another person.

 

A lot of my songs are written as a way of coping with difficult situations or celebrating the beauty of life around me, so my goal is to carry my message to as many people as possible.

 

I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to make money from music because let’s be real, playing music for the rest of my life for income sounds like the ultimate gig.

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Tell us five current artists that are your favourite.

Run the Jewels, Jose Gonzalez, Iron and Wine, Sufjan Stevens, and Local Natives.

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Tell us your best song up to date and share the link.

I’m a bit biased on what I think our best song is, but I would have to say “Cornerstone.”

 

The rest of our band would most likely say “Regret” even though it’s an older song for us but I’m partial to Cornerstone because I wrote it for my wife and sang it at our wedding. I feel it may be the most honest and sincere song I’ve ever written.  I’m including the links to both:

 

Regret, Va

 

Cornerstone

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Tell us your dream and hope for the future.

My dream is to make Annabelle’s Curse a common, household name, and I hope to share our music with as many people as possible.

 

Currently, I’m also dreaming of a day when we won’t be stuck at home due to shutdowns and quarantines.

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Tell us what has changed in the music industry.

I’m not sure if it’s the music industry that has directly gone through changes or if the world has gone through changes and now the music industry is trying to keep up.

 

As a musician, it’s getting tougher to sell albums when streaming is cheap or free. Navigating the ever-evolving financial world of music is tough especially with an over-saturation of artists in the world, and everybody is fighting to be heard.

 

It used to be that blogs and reviews would listen and review your music for free if they like what you sold, but now to be heard, you often must pay a fee to even be considered.

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Tell us your opinion on television/radio stations playing the same songs from established artists and giving little chances to independent artists.

What can you say? I wish all the best indie artists were given a chance to be heard, but oftentimes, only a select famous few are played and repeated relentlessly on the radio and TV.

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Tell us the challenges independent artists are facing and how to tackle them.

The biggest challenge we face is whether to invest our energy in an online promotion or playing shows. I guess COVID-19 has sort of solved that problem for a lot of musicians and is pushing live bands to focus on their digital offerings more.

 

Playing shows has always been a hit or miss type business especially when you are setting up shows on your own without a proper manager.

 

It’s also a huge challenge to play music while having to maintain a full-time occupation. I am a Middle School teacher by day while the rest of the band also work as a pharmacist, a therapist, a cook, and an employee of the Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Share your press releases and reviews with us.

“Their emotive, post-folk songs sweep from intimate whisper to anthem-like choruses, placing them in a category of bands like Mumford and Sons and The Decemberists that are testing the boundaries of modern-day Americana”                                                                     -Tennessee Shines; WDVX Knoxville

 

Pop Matters

 

Michaels Musiclog

 

Huffpost

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Tell us your opinion on using social media to promote music online.

Social media is a great way to advertise your music online but to some degree, you are limited to new people seeing your music.

 

Sure, you can pay for advertisements on social media, but finding spare money laying around for that these days is tough.

 

I see social media as a better way to maintain interest with current fans.

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Tell us about your music career.

We’ve been playing music for about 10 years now, and it seems like we figure out the industry a bit more each day.

 

We have recorded 5 albums now and each one has evolved, and everyone feels better than the last.

 

I’ve always had a love for writing and recording while playing live has been harder for me as I am a bit introverted.

 

The band started with 3 members (guitar, bass, banjo) and evolved into the six-member group that we are today.

 

We’ve played 30 – 60 shows in a year and we’ve played a lot of festivals along the way.

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Tell us what still motivates you to go on with your music career.

It’s not the money. It’s not the fame. Music itself is what motivates me. Creating for the sake of creating is what makes me happy.

 

To me, the act of creating something new and unique to share with other people is the best feeling you can receive in your music career.

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Tell us about you as a person.

As I said, I’m a teacher by day and I am a LEGO robotics coach. I love my job and I love working with kids. Music has always been a huge part of my life and it’s a big part of my classroom at school.

 

I love playing disc golf and love road biking as well. I’d have to say that food is a huge part of my life as I love to eat new things as well as cook and bake. I also love working in the garden as I find myself writing new songs while I work.

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Elaborate on the story behind the song.

Foul Beast is about the power of lies and the shadow they cast over your life.

 

This song was written during early 2019. Partly due to some personal things, but I mainly wrote this song looking at the political turmoil in the US. It makes me sick to hear politicians (especially the president) lie at the rate in which they do. But as the song says, all lies will eventually “come around” to haunt the person spilling them.

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Tell us the process involved in making this song.

Writing songs has always been a very fluid thing for me. I know musicians who write lyrics first and then the music next (or vice versa), but to me, writing lyrics and the music have always sort of happened simultaneously.

 

There have been very few songs that I’ve written that quickly come together in a day or two as most songs I write genuinely take weeks, months, or even years to finish.

 

I think sometimes the best music I can create has been wrestled and toiled with for an efficient amount of time.

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State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.

Our band’s name is Annabelle’s Curse, and I know that it sounds more hardcore than what our music may portray.

 

When the band first started, we travelled around with a large upright bass that we named Annabelle.

 

At our first scheduled show, the bass player was carrying Annabelle but the case broke, Annabelle’ fell to the ground and broke in half at its head.

 

Annabelle only had two strings on it for a while. Another time, the upright bass was situated in the corner of my buddy’s house while he was out of town. When he returned home, he found that Annabelle had somehow shifted against the wall, turned on a wall heater, and the bass began to melt. Luckily, Annabelle didn’t catch fire and burn his house down.

 

We eventually got rid of the upright bass, but the curse has been known to follow us whether it is through our van breaking down countless times on the side of the road or blowing up a sound system by accident.

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State the title of the song and the meaning.

This song is called Foul Beast and it’s about the monster we create through the lies that we tell. You can’t escape it. It will always have its way.

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State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.

We named this album Vast Oceans because we felt like that name encompassed the wide-ranging differences between the songs.

 

Vast Oceans is also a song on our new album and it’s all about wrestling with your emotions.

 

To some degree, I believe all music is about wrestling with feelings and emotions.  The song Vast Oceans is a bit experimental to some degree and I think we as a band may have enjoyed creating that song the most.

 

Many songs on this album revolve around the ocean or images of water so it makes sense to lump them together under that theme.

 

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