Bands to Watch #36: Anomie Belle

By on Thursday, 23rd October 2008 at 8:05 pm

It’s been a while since I proclaimed my love of Trespassers William, the understated Seattle ambient gurus, and of Zero7,  the London downtempo kids. So imagine my excitement when I was sent an album by Anomie Belle which features TW’s Anna-Lynne Williams on guest vocals and sounds just like Zero7 gone American with the amience of TW. Yes, I almost had a baby I was that excited.

Anomie Belle is the project of composer, producer, audio programmer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist, Toby Campbell. Originally a classical violinist and songwriter, she released multiple solo records before creating her own beats and making her way into electronic, experimental, trip-hop music. A Portland, Oregon native, Campbell has performed at top venues throughout the Pacific Northwest, and has worked as a musician and producer in Madrid, Glasgow, Amsterdam, New York, Buenos Aires, and London.

Dreamy like Zero 7, Anomie Belle has a smoother sound than Trespassers William, and whilst at times the subject matter is rather dark and deep (throughout the collection American political apathy, suburban alienation, passive media spectatorship, social injustice, and consumerism are all tackedled) the music just washes over you in such a gloriously smooth way you can’t help but almost fall asleep in bliss. This isn’t a insult – very few bands and artists can be as gentle and relaxing after just a few listens as Anomie Belle is to me.

Almost every track on the new album, Sleeping Patterns, features lush strings and multilayered effects, which gives you something different everytime you hear it – different instruments, different words, different meanings. My only complaint? Sometimes the vocals are a little too buried down in the mix for my liking, however that’s more of a personal preference, and I have a feeling that if they were higher up the mix they would be distracting and lose some of the dreamyness of the collection.

Although she’s based in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, make sure that if you’re over there anytime soon, or if she make it over to the UK, be sure to catch her live. Hell, if I have to, I’ll pay for your ticket!

MP3: Anomie Belle – Down

Anomie Belle’s new album, Sleeping Patterns is released on 2nd November.

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