ANEMO
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ANEMO

Brighton, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Brighton, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
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Allow me to state right off the bat that I am extremely picky with regards to female vocalists. As a female musician, I have seen entirely too many, near a majority, of people who also fit in that category whose careers are based on image and physical attractiveness over old-fashioned hard work, and it makes me both furious at the state of things and wary of anything new that comes along. However, rarely has an album won me over so immediately as Anemo’s debut, Slowburn (City Canyon Records). Yes, vocalist Hazelle Woodhurst is a beautiful blonde. No, I didn’t know that until after I’d been completely floored by the CD.

On the band’s website, Woodhurst comments on having been in a number of bands starting in her teens, saying that “finding people who are committed to what you are really trying to achieve is tough. I think you get to an age where you think I don’t want to compromise anymore, and that’s when if you’re lucky, things start to go right because you are being true to yourself.” In this statement from her biography, Woodhurst reveals herself as a true musician: someone steeped in the culture of rock & roll from a young age, who came about her success through a series of failures.

Anything but the typical blonde diva, she is both feminine and tough-girl at once. Her voice is neither unpleasant nor slickly overproduced, and her ability to both belt a strong chorus and carry a sweet melody without sounding out-of-place in either is rare among pop vocalists. Many female pop vocalists sound surprised or confused by well-written lyrics.

Another thing that sets Woodhurst apart from her peers is her ability to comfortably express the intelligent, articulate writing that takes place on Slowburn, sounding neither forced nor uncomfortable.

From lush string arrangements to nearly-metal guitar riffs, Anemo stays true to the roots of their name on this album, and proves themselves as far more than just a backup band to their vocalist. Extremely competent musicians in their own right, Kingsley Sage, Matt Palmer and a host of other guest backup musicians and vocalists also get to shine on this album. “Diversity” is the stylistic keyword for many first albums- the idea is to strut one’s stuff on the first album and then pick a more focused approach for the second. Slowburn is no exception in that right.

Between the funky riffs of “Stronger Stuff,” soaring melodies of “Who Will You Really Become,” and goosebump-inducing ballad that is the title track, listeners are left wondering, “What can’t this band do?”
My only concern, as ever, is that the complicated instrumental arrangements and Woodhurst’s multiple vocal tracks might have an affect on the band’s live show, because a lot of it would be physically impossible onstage.

However, with the aid of backing vocalist Erika Woodhurst, the voices alone might make it more than worthwhile; hearing these women truly belt out these songs outside of a studio environment, a setting that often restrains vocalists, could be particularly amazing.

For more info about Anemo, go to http://www.anemo.co.uk

Julie Sager is the Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor at The Retriever Weekly. She can be reached for comment at julie@trw.umbc.edu. - Retriver newspaper, University of Maryland


Swirlin' around like a tornado tossed three-way between Eurythmics, Pretenders and Portishead, this is perky postmodern music made the right way: with a sexy 'n' sassy Hyndeful of heartfelt female attitude. Even better, these guys and their sweet-singin' gal pal are versatile enough to shift gears from providing punchy power pop dollops about the perils of anonymous encounters ("Johnny 5") to plaintive paeans about sunken submariners ("Kursk").

http://creemmagazine.com/RockARama/RockARama25.html#Anemo - Jeffrey Morgan, Creem Magazine


Brighton band Anemo are back with the second album they have had released on American label City Canyons and those like me who loved 2005’s ‘Slowburn’ will not be disappointed. This is more of the same. It’s intelligent, mature and pulsing rock music.

The album kicks off with first single release ‘Pray’, a song that takes it’s inspiration from the experiences of foreign correspondents in the Middle East. It’s a track that makes full use of the fact that the band has two female vocalists. The music is a powerful as the subject matter and it has some excellent female/female harmonies.

Second single and second track on the album ‘MusicBox’ features one of the hallmarks of the Anemo sound. A shimmering and cymbal heavy drum riff combined with a precisely matched guitar riff that gradually metamorphoses into a rocking chorus that leaves the blood pumping. It is worth noting that this pattern is similar to many of the tracks on ‘Slowburn’, hence the Anemo sound, but it is not repeated so often in this collection. The influences come from a wider background. ‘Filthy Figure Skater’ features a riff reminiscent of Southern Rock and ‘Anyway’ is a soaring, lilting track that could have been made by REM at their most elegiac.

Maybe it’s just personal preference, but I find the last two tracks on the album ‘Another Side To The Story’ and ‘Still’ a little uncomfortable to listen to. They are both excellently written and produced songs, but deal with very personal subject matters that seem a little too confessional.

In the modern music industry it is possible that Anemo could easily be ignored. They don’t tick any of the boxes that get you noticed. It’s not edgy, it’s not pedal-to-the-metal and it’s not controversial. It’s just perfectly crafted, perfectly powerful, old-school rock music. If there’s no room for craftsmanship of this calibre then the business is in more serious trouble than any of us realise.

http://www.noizemakesenemies.co.uk/2008/10/anemo-stentorian.html - Colin Gazely


It's a rare thing when the 'tricky second album' eclipses a band's debut. Especially one which showed such promise as Brighton based Anemo's Slowburn - an album delivered principally by Kingsley Sage (keyboards, bass and programming) and Matt Palmer (guitars and bass) with some excellent vocals by Hazelle Woodhurst. It may have lacked a little polish but nevertheless hinted at the band being potential contenders for the Evanescence goth crown.

And while their debut was based on an impressive collection of pop meets electronica that found favour on both sides of the Atlantic, the band's follow-up Stentorian finds a fully formed line up expanded to incorporate Erika Woodhurst on backing vocals, Dan Partington on bass and Mike Kelly on drums.

As a result, Stentorian (named after Stentor, a legendary Greek herald in the Trojan War, whose voice was as loud of that of 50 men) has a much more 'band' sound and feel, reflecting the band's aggressive live sound.

Opening with the single Pray - a piece of classic rock inspired by the Iraq war capture and hostage taking of BBC correspondent John Simpson - the album finds Anemo in full flight and taking their sound to a new level of maturity with an identity that no longer sounds borrowed or uncertain.

Indeed, Stentorian proves to be a corker of an album and an undisputed contender for female fronted rock album of the year. But what makes the album so impressive (apart from the delivery) is the strength of the song writing which has melody and diversity by the bucketful. It leans far more on the strengths of the likes of All About Eve - but with an altogether harder edge - than Evanescence, with a sound that only British bands can offer.

And the band don't put a foot wrong on any of the 11 tracks. Let's just hope they get the exposure and recognition they deserve because, really, it doesn't get much better than this. Forget Evanescence, this is melodic Brit rock at it's magnificent best.

And if you don't believe me, try dipping just about anywhere into this terrific album you'll not be disappointed. There's two excellent singles in Pray or MusicBox, She's Not Me and Another Side To The Story have the seductive funk of Alannah Myles' Black Velvet, while Anyway and Still demonstrate the band's ability to deliver big dreamy rock ballads. Wonderful.

Pete Whalley
http://www.getreadytorock.com/reviews2008/anemo2.htm
- Get Ready To Rock!!


Anemo's second album, 'Stentorian', clearly demonstrates the wonderfully diverse rockin'-pop stylee of this impressive outfit. Always safely within the bounds of pop sensibility but with their softly rockin' attack they push gently but not over-forcefully at the envelope and by doing so they widen their catchment whilst retaining commerciality.

Fronted by the powerful and well delivered vocals of Hazelle Woodhurst, Anemo are distinctive and their music quickly comes to you and becomes pretty persuasive. Anemo could so easily get carried away with 'big' scores and start to drown out the vocals but by thoughtful restraint and some careful mixing they ensure Woodhurst's voice is just sufficiently forward of the guitar and keys. I suppose you could compare Anemo to Eurhythmics because of the female vocal bias and their compelling, very saleable sound but I feel that Anemo are distinctly leaning more towards rock than they are pop. Comparisons or not, Anemo are a damn fine outfit in their own right; their songs are well structured, beautifully written and skilfully executed. Anemo show that detail matters and their penchant for getting it just right stands them in good stead and means they're a tough act to better. Anemo's professionalism shines through here, every 't' crosses and every 'i' dotted - nothing over-done and nothing left to chance. 'Stentorian' is over-flowin' with great songs performed with superb musicianship and great vision - from big, bold balladic through to gentle, lilting and subtle, Anemo show their range, flexibility and ability to make soft rock songs that're catchy as well as expressive.

'Stentorian' by Anemo is a maturely conceived and wonderfully crafted album; Anemo's ability to rock it up whilst retaining obvious commerciality is impressive and should see them doing well with this work. As I'm listening I'm looking for possible flaws, faults, areas of weakness - there are none as far as I can see - Anemo have been extremely thorough with this album; it's beautifully but not overly produced allowing each component part to ring out clearly and unhindered - no dynamic conflicts, no instrumental confusion or clashes - all is good, all is well - 'Stentorian' by Anemo is quality soft rock with bags of commerciality and masses of likeability. These 'guys' are damn good and deserve to reap major rewards for 'Stentorian'.

http://www.toxicpete.co.uk/anemo3.html - Toxic Pete



This band is top drawer, and you cannot get a better intro than that. Aimee reviewed their first cd 'Slowburn' on this site two years ago, and that review can be seen at www.ravenheartarchives.com/press-group-1.html. On this their second release, Anemo serves up another tasty morsel of British rock. Featuring 11 new tracks, it's certainly DARKER, STRONGER and LOUDER than their first album. It has a more aggressive and live rock sound, and takes you on a journey through war zones, drug addiction, piracy and sibling rivalry. The superb 'Pray' kicks this album into motion, and the record doesn't let up until you hit the repeat button at the end. 'She's Not Me' is another fave, while 'Filthy Figure Skater' showcases Hazelle's voice wonderfully well, and what a great voice she has. Even reminds me a little of Pink on the odd occasion. Okay, I like Pink (yep I do), but if she is big, then so should Anemo be too. 'Anyway' slows it down, before the catchy accoustic sounding 'Shipping News' bursts out of the speakers. Other faves on this cd, and there are a few include 'Fives and Sixes' and the ballad 'Still', but I really ought to add that the whole record is good! This is strictly not metal, just a good indie sounding rock record. Check it out! 8/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

http://www.ravenheartmusic.com/bio.html - Ravenheart Music


"ANEMO ACID: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Anemo. They rock, yes. But by God are they emotional. Anemo have all the ingredients. A powerhouse femme fatal upfront with brazen rock opera vocals backed by large men with loud guitars, it does exactly what it says on the tin. Rock, Emotional rock."

See full article at:

http://www.anemo.co.uk/images/presspdfs/092407londontourdates.pdf - London Tour dates


"Anemo proceeded to blow the hell out of the audience, playing a set made up mostly of material from their stunning album Slowburn. Hazelle and Erika's vocals weaved in and out of the bands amazing musical dexterity and made an instant impression and have so many strengths, whether it's the vocals, Kingsley's keyboards, Matt's guitars or the lyrics. I enjoyed them so much I bought the album!"

Read the full article at:

http://www.anemo.co.uk/images/presspdfs/010107CRSmagjan.pdf - CRS magazine


"Rock School: Award-winning, Brighton based rock band Anemo are on the up. Navigator caught up with keyboard player Kingsley Sage and guitarist Matt Palmer after an acoustic set in London."

Read full article at:

http://www.anemo.co.uk/images/presspdfs/110107navigatormag.pdf - Navigator (London) magazine


Discography

MusicBox (single): released October 2008
Stentorian (album): released October 2008
Pray (single): released October 2007
Made of Fiction (single): released September 2006
Slowburn (album: UK release): 2006
Slowburn (album: US release): 2005

UK National and regional airplay for Pray/MusicBox/Made of Fiction. Also extensive on-line broadcast. Can provide BMI lists if required.

Photos

Bio

Summary:
2 studio album
3 singles
Achieved number 11 chart placing in UK Music Week Commercial Pop Charts with remix package for last single "MusicBox"
Signed to US independent label City Canyons Recods
National and regional radio and TV coverage

ANEMO began life in September 2002 when Kingsley Sage was auditioning singers for a song writing and recording project. The results had been universally disappointing (to put it mildly), until at the 11th hour a former actress and talented vocalist called Hazelle Woodhurst entered the picture. The two immediately got on well, with their shared love of different types of music and, of course, a good English cup of tea. The two set to work on penning a number of songs that would later become the basis of the ANEMO’s first album. They decided that the project needed a rock edge, and to that end guitarist Matt Palmer was added to the mix.

After countless evenings at the band’s basement studio in Brighton, the three had amassed an impressive collection of pop-meets-rock-meets-electronica tracks. At this point, the group took on the name ANEMO, a word that means “changing forms”, to reflect the blend of styles and influences that was brought to the music. The strong vocal melodies and distinctive style caught the attention of Trebor Lloyd, CEO of New York-based independent record label City Canyons. In summer 2005 ANEMO signed a 3 album record contract with CC and began to record the final tracks for their first album.

The trio's debut album Slowburn was met with critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic - gaining rave reviews and returning top 10 positions on U.S. college radio. In the U.K. the band were championed by BBC 6 music as "one to watch" on the Bruce Dickinson (of Iron Maiden fame) Rock Show and Slowburn was named “one of the albums of the year” by shakenstir.co.uk. The ANEMO live band has toured throughout the U.K. and was recognised for its energetic live performances by winning the CRS "Best Live Band" award in 2006.

The band's second album - Stentorian - was released on 13th October and is more focused towards the aggression and energy of the live band than it's predecessor. You can check out the videos for Pray (a song written in homage to BBC war journalist John Simpson) and the latest single, MusicBox, on the video page.