Anne-Marie Helder
Gig Seeker Pro

Anne-Marie Helder

Band Rock Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Anne-Marie Helder - The Contact - Highly talented singer-songwriter..."

After a split from her last band Karnataka, singer-songwriter Anne-Marie Helder decided to go solo, and her EP The Contact shows how highly talented she really is.

Recently supporting the likes of Midge Ure (Band Aid, Ultravox) she is currently performing solo but guitar solos and drum loops on the cd suggest that we may well be seeing her with a backing band soon enough.

With influences fom Classical music to Bob Dylan and Tracy Chapman, Anne-Marie Helder's dramatic and passionate style of songwriting is a real refreshment and a perfect example for any songwriter and appealing to both acoustic and rock fans. - Sound Nation magazine (Wales, UK)

"Anne-Marie Helder - The Contact EP fuses Jeff Buckley & Kate Bush..."

"Striking solo debut from one-time Karnataka vocalist/instrumentalist. Combining the intensity of Jeff Buckley with the passion of Kate Bush, this is emotive and powerful stuff. 8/10" - Classic Rock (international magazine)

"Anne-Marie Helder releases debut solo EP"

"Karnataka vocalist Anne-Marie Helder wasted no time putting together this EEP,
following the breakup of the band earlier this fall.

Calling it an (extended) EP because of the fairly short set of six songs, Helder
has crafted a mostly-acoustic collection of SONGS THAT PACK AN EMOTIONAL WALLOP.
JEWEL, is UNABASHEDLY NAKED and makes tracks like “Blood Red Sky” and “Exodus”
sound both ANGRY AND VULNERABLE AT THE SAME TIME. This is also in effect on
“Stallions & Nags” and “No Other Lover”.

The exception to the rule here is “Autocratic”, an almost funky acoustic track
over an electronic rhythm bed which effectively offers a breather from the
intensity of the rest of the album. Perhaps most shocking of the songs here is
“Murder”, a violent tale with an impassioned vocal.

Throughout ‘The Contact’, Helder is ably backed by boyfriend Dave Kilminster,
whose acoustic work shines, and whose electric flourishes further give “Murder”
its sinister quality.

‘The Contact’ is Anne-Marie Helder’s calling card for now, and shows how POTENT
she can be when she’s so moved by the events in her life. When she broadens her
palette on a full album release, you can be sure that, even after Karnataka’s
great swan song, ‘Delicate Flame of Desire’, people will begin saying
- Todd Seely, the Fuze

"Anne Marie Helder makes THE CONTACT - eclectic, dramatic music with powerful female vocals *Interview*"

Anne Marie Helder first drew attention from Musical Discoveries when singing backing vocals with two other guests for Karnataka at Rotherham Rocks.

Their work with the band at their Mean Fiddler gig and appearance on the resulting Karnataka DVD revealed that Anne Marie is a superbly gifted multi-instrumentalist and has sheer vocal talent with power and range that can not be denied.

Anne Marie's contributions to Karnataka grew and by Delicate Flame of Desire, her work had grown to be a significant force in the band and accordingly started to make a name for herself outside the band.

Shortly before the band's much acclaimed acoustic gig with October Project in New York, Anne co-penned "The Donut Song" (with Ian and Rachel Jones) in which she sang lead backed by Karnataka's award-winning vocalist Rachel Jones. In concert, the song drew significant acclaim from long time and new fans alike but regrettably it was never properly recorded and released.

A subsequent performance of the track at The Brook in Southampton clearly illustrated Anne Marie's true lead vocalist potential to an enthusiastic audience.

With the demise of Karnataka, Anne Marie has embarked on a multi-faceted solo career, initially releasing a six track EP entitled "The Contact" (review) and also continuing to contribute to Tigerdragon in their second release.

She has also contributed vocals to other projects and plans work with Jonathan Edwards, Paul Davies, Gavin Griffiths and Rachel Jones in Panic Room with a release slated for sometime during 2005.

We caught up with Anne Marie to chat about her background, the making of her recently released EP and future plans earlier this year in this exclusive interview presented below


Can you tell us about how you started out in music?

Anne Marie Helder: It literally goes back so far I can't remember--probably to when I was a baby. My mother sang in a choir, so I went to choral concerts from the moment I could sit still, maybe at age two or three. My dad introduced me to the Beatles, the Stones and Eric Clapton. So I was exposed to those kinds of influences as well. We used to go to concerts as a family. I remember going to see Simply Red. My Brother played the cornet, so I decided I wanted to play an instrument as well. I was desperate to play the clarinet--I must have thought it looked cool as a jazz instrument--but at school they didn't have one, so they gave me a flute. I was gutted! But I stuck with it, and then took up the piano, which I loved. By twelve or thirteen I was listening to metal, grunge and indie music, but I also loved singer-songwriters like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. Finally, at fourteen or fifteen, I started dabbling in the guitar.How did you start singing?I was in a really good youth choir in Essex from the age of fifteen. I went to University at Swansea (in South Wales), and eventually joined a band. I was doing Philosophy-–I was gripped by ethics and morality--but I also did a year of art, which I still love. Swansea is such a vibrant place--full of artists and musicians. I always wrote songs and I went busking, which was really good both for strengthening my voice and for building up my confidence. I sang all kinds of things in Swansea--folk, blues, gospel, soul and classical--but I didn't find my own voice--my own style--until I started fronting my own band. By the time I joined Karnataka, I was in a funky rock band and a folk band, as well as a solo performer. I actually felt ready to take on larger venues before I joined the band, and when we started playing larger venues it really felt right.

Your voice is very powerful, though. Where does that come from?

I'm not sure, but my partner, Dave Kilminster (of Keith Emerson's band) who's a guitarist, always says that you can hear a lot of peoples' personality in their playing, and I think it's the same with the voice. I'm a person of extremes. I can be quite intense and powerful, but I can also be shy and reserved, and that comes out in my voice. Physically, though, I have no idea. At school my voice was very soft. I did a lot of ballet and yoga, though, and the muscles you get from that give you the support in the stomach to really push a note out. Having said that, without trying to sound corny, I put my heart and soul into singing, and, on a good night, it really feels like the music is channelling through me.The first project that Musical Discoveries readers would know you from would be Tigerdragon. You seem to be more involved on the first album than the second. Is that fair?Probably. The band started out as collaboration with Chris Woodman, then it evolved into a larger band, which is what it is on the rare occasions that we play concerts these days. I did fewer lead vocals on the second album, simply because we had to choose material that people were ready to record, and that they were happy with. I knew I'd be doing my own thing, and so I didn't really feel the need to - Musical Discoveries Magazine


THE CONTACT [2004] (Anne's debut solo EP)

2004 Strange Behaviour
2003 Delicate Flame of Desire

Karnataka Live in Concert ~ Karnataka ~ 2001 Live at London's Mean Fiddler
Karnataka Live in the USA ~ Karnataka ~ 2003 Live in Trenton, New Jersey, USA

2003 The Universal Key
2001 Life Stories

Anne-Marie Helder will also be featured on guitarist Dave Kilmister's upcoming rock solo release: SCARLET [2006]

Sample audio files are available for listening at:


Feeling a bit camera shy


Within days of the 2004 release of her debut solo CD, 'The Contact', singer-songwriter Anne-Marie Helder received international recognition as one of rock and roll's new shining lights, its significant storytellers; with critics struggling for descriptions that appear inadequate to express the depth and range of her astonishing music and her compelling voice.

The comparisons are to the great legends; extraordinary and exciting narrators with passionate vision, and those who possess stunningly distinctive voices . The list is as impressive, eclectic, and strikingly varied as Anne’s music: Jeff Buckley, Kate Bush, Sheryl Crow, Jewel, Alanis Morissette, Sam Brown, Eva Cassidy, Michelle Branch, Annie Lenox, Natalie Merchant, PJ Harvey and Sarah Maclachlan, to name but a few...

Blood Red Sky, despite a six and a half minute length, has received extensive airplay around the world. This poignant piece was inspired by a famous double murder in the East of England called the Soham Killings.

Far from new to the rock scene, the UK born Helder received critical acclaim for her work with progressive rock supergroup Karnataka, augmenting the band with the intensity of her vocals, flute, and interplay with singer Rachel Jones.
Delicate Flame of Desire, the 2001 release from the band, won Best Album of the Year Honors from Britain’s Classic Rock Society, and international applause and attention. A double album followed, and two live DVD performances from a global tour that included the UK and the US.

Anne-Marie was a co-founder of Welsh-based band TigerDragon, which evolved from an acoustic three piece to a full-fledged rock band and recorded two albums. This was among a rich plethora of bands she played & sang with during her real musical 'apprenticeship' in the UK.

Classically trained, Anne has been influenced by a wide range of styles and has lent her voice, guitars, flutes, keyboards and percussions to a wide range of albums, live gigs and sessions; to work with musicians known for jazz, rock, folk and funk.

Relentlessly hard-working and a gripping live performer, Anne performs regularly in the UK and thoughout 2005 performed no less than 150 live shows across the isle... So far in 2006 her intensive touring has also taken her across to Europe as official support for Scottish rock legend Fish.

For 2006 and beyond, Anne will adding dates in the US, Europe and Asia as her growing fan base clamor to experience her extraordinary voice live, and be among the first to hear her wealth of new material.
That work draws on the drama of life: joy, tragedy, birth and death, love and loss, the world and beyond... and reflects the layers of emotion that have defined and redefined her life and world.

Anne is constantly writing the powerful and dramatic music that reflects these shifting paradigms and gives striking voice to a new generation.

The Contact also features the guitar work of UK star Dave Kilminster and the bass of Adam Pain. Kilminster recorded the album and, with Helder and Pain, shares production credit.

The next album from Anne-Marie Helder is due in the fall of 2006. Featuring more of her commanding vocals and diverse writing, she anticipates being backed by a full-scale rock band. Currently, fans have the opportunity to witness Anne-Marie as an intimate performer, strumming guitars, playing keyboards and flute, and using her astounding voice as a passionate instrument.
In 2006/7, the “little red rock chick” will emerge on tour with full band and expects to retain the emotion and intimacy of her material while adding the texture, theatre, and layers of a multi-instrument approach.

She continues to collaborate with Kilminster, plus her former Karnataka band mates, and others, contributing her inimitable vocals and playing a wide range of instruments. Expect to hear her on a series of new releases slated for 2006. First up is likely to be Scarlet, Kilminster’s highly anticipated rock and roll album, slated for release in mid-2005.

Find out more about Anne-Marie Helder at, plus
You can order The Contact from the site and keep posted on tour dates. Write to join the periodic Fanzine and Newsletter that keeps the world updated on Anne’s activities.