Interview with Annabel Lee, punch and melancholy

The musicians of Annabel Lee made their mark on this edition of We Are Open. A massive crowd came to applaud this project mixing melancholy and east coast punk-rock. After a concert mixing the band’s classics and snippets of their new project, we meet the trio for a few questions.

How do you feel after participating in this We Are Open at the Trix, alongside all these talented Belgian bands ?

It’s nice ! We were scheduled last year but we couldn’t make it because we were in the studio working on our next album. The Trix is one of our favourite venues.

What is your relationship with the Flemish music scene ?

It’s very professional. The audience listens to a lot of music in a variety of styles. They are also very curious and I think that a festival with this line-up in Wallonia at the same price would unfortunately not be as successful. Here, we have music fans and very eclectic artists, which adds to our pleasure to be here !

Do you feel the difference between the two scenes as an artist ?

Yes, clearly, here everything is more supervised, even at the level of radio stations, StuBru gave a lot of support to emerging groups. There’s Werchter, the Pukklepop that opens its lineup to local bands. And it’s a virtuous circle because the more support and guidance the artists get, the more room they have to create music. Even the youth centres are more culture-oriented than in Wallonia, where the infrastructure is sometimes a bit outdated due to lack of resources.

You presented your next single as well as an upcoming album, how did it go in your artistic evolution ?

Our first album was released just before the covid and we were quite unlucky for that release. It was a real blow for the band and Audrey (the singer) had even lost some faith in the project. Our reaction in the end was to rehearse without pressure because the gigs were impossible anyway, we played like when we were teenagers. We jammed and in the end that’s how we wrote the album. The style evolves naturally and we have mixed tracks full of energy and very ethereal ballads. It’s all in our style and we found the right thread for this project.

Listen to the first album !

Wasn’t it too hard to change your style ?

We were afraid to go all over the place, so tonight we presented the more solid pieces of the project, but saved the ballads for the release. We’ve taken a turn from garage rock and replaced some of the naivety with a maturity gained over time. Every style of song, whether in the lyrics or the composition, is more assumed.

We feel that the lockdown has marked you as a band.

It was a bit complicated for everyone in the end. A lot of questioning, not knowing where we were going didn’t help.

Where can we find you for your next gigs ?

We have a great date coming up at the Botanique with Marcel and Gros Coeur on 27 April for Les Nuits du Botanique (check the link below)

With this future release on Humpty Dumpty Records in Belgium and Howlin Banana Records in France, what can we expect from Annabel Lee ?

I think we’ll just let things happen, see how people react to the album and not put any pressure on ourselves. We’re confident, we love the album. Without being showy, we worked on the project and we are proud of the final product. The production was done with care by Amaury Sauvé and the first listenings are quite positive. We feel it’s going to be cool.

We know that the release of your first album was complicated with COVID, how do you feel now that you can present it to an audience ?

We really wanted to play it in public, and now we’ve got it back, with the reaction of the people. Our greatest reward is to see the public accompanying our lyrics and having fun.

Many thanks to Annabel Lee, Julia Camino Agency and Trix for this moment!

Feel free to listen to Annabel Lee’s new single online and to DRIFT, their second album which will be released on March 24th ! You can also meet them on March 25th to celebrate this new project at L’Ermitage in Brussels for a beer to celebrate this new Belgian project !

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