Michelle Anthony
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Michelle Anthony

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Michelle Anthony: Sing Out!"

"In the course of eleven songs, Anthony's voice moves with a melodic and emotional sureness that recalls early Sarah McLachlan, though Anthony adeptly mingles country and blues influences into her refined phrasing."
- NO DEPRESSION (Town & Country)


"Critics Choice"

If you were walking into a club, Milwaukee-based singer-songwriter Michelle Anthony's Louisville Slugger of a voice would hit you right in the ears, and so would her Chrissie Hyndesque way of trailing off at the end of phrases. After a few tunes, though, it would be clear that she has much in common with the cheerfully depressed Los Angeles songwriting scene that cradled a pre-Magnolia Aimee Mann and her hubby, Michael Penn. After all, one of Anthony's best tunes, "Mourning Song," is a description of an anniversary. Her latest album, the existential Stand Fall Repeat, produced by multi-instrumental svengali Jay Bennett, emphasizes Anthony's pop sensibilities...Her bio mentions that she was born in "a distant suburb of Kansas City" (DeSoto? Platte City? Omaha?). We need to claim her, fast.
- The Pitch Kansas City


"Critics Choice"

Blessed with a commanding voice reminiscent of Chrissie Hynde, Kansas City native Michelle Anthony offers a bluesy take on alt-country, full of cynical wit and post-relationship regret. Now residing in Austin and finishing up her sophomore effort, Anthony's mix of urban soul and rural twang should appeal to fans of Tift Merritt and Bonnie Raitt alike. - Dallas Observer


"Michelle Anthony"

"Her sound is an easy-going and world-weary mix of folk and Americana...This record is definitely on par with Crow's The Globe Sessions, which is quite an achievement for a debut!" - Pop Matters


"Stand Fall Repeat"

"On her debut "Stand Fall Repeat" (Burn & Shiver), co-recorded by Jay Bennett (of Wilco fame) in Chicago, Michelle Anthony sounds a bit like Chrissie Hynde on an insurgent country bender, particularly on "Don't Deny," "Radio Waves" and "Analog Feeling." The product of a break Anthony took from Milwaukee-based Capital 8, "Stand Fall Repeat" also features the Wilco-esque "Family Tree," the bluesy rocker "Bubble Clock," the fittingly tragic "Mourning Song" and the gorgeous closing track "Today."'
- Chicago Free Press


"Stand Fall Repeat"

Michelle Anthony doesn't reinvent anything on this album, but offers more of the dark and somewhat dingy country ballads that bring to mind Kathleen Edwards, Allison Moorer, or Gillian Welch raised on a heap of alt.country albums. Her songwriting and mundane narrative on the opener, "Mourning Song," visit territory Lucinda Williams touched on during Essence. Produced by former Wilco member Jay Bennett, the album has a world-weary aura that's consistently strong. The pace picks up nicely on the adorable country-cum-roots rock "Don't Deny." Here, Anthony loosens up vocally for a stellar performance and a hook-filled chorus. It's as if Natalie Merchant went to Austin, TX, and never came back. A mellower "All This Time" is pleasing but doesn't quite get over the proverbial bar that the first two did easily. She is more successful on the piano-driven "Radio Waves," which evokes images of an Americana-ized Sarah McLachlan. It perhaps also draws closer to Sheryl Crow's The Globe Sessions. Another sleeper pick might be the pop-tinged "Ivy Rider," which is pure bliss as Anthony shows off her chops. Crow's influence is definitely discerned on "Family Tree (The Ballad of Jack Rice)," which recalls Tuesday Night Music Club or There Goes the Neighborhood. The short and punchy Richards-like riffs can't help "Analog Feeling," though. The sultry blues-meets-pop during "Bubble Clock" is one of the album's highlights, a hard-driving roadhouse tune resembling Bonnie Raitt with something to prove. A gorgeous barroom piano introduces the slower country ballad "Closer," which Anthony hits out of the park. It's hard not to like.
- All Music Guide


"Stand Fall Repeat"

"Raised outside Kansas City, Anthony's luminous voice recalls the early work of Chrissie Hynde and Lucinda Williams. Call it rock and roll with an alt-country heart or vice versa...Play "Don't Deny" once and you won't deny twice being a huge Anthony fan."
- Santa Monica Mirror


"Michelle Anthony - Stand Fall Repeat"

Michelle Anthony has been one of the driving forces in the Midwest alt. rock scene since her days fronting the now defunct Milwaukee rock band Capital 8. Feeling bound by restrictions that limited Anthony to limit more piano-based music that she wanted to play, Anthony folded the band and has since stepped out into the limelight where she belongs. On her debut album “Stand, Fall Repeat” Anthony’s creative vision has become a reality, and fans will start to get a glimpse of what the future holds for her and her band.

On a thematically-assembled album, the title is a perfect description of the songs included in the eleven-track effort, all penned, or co-written by Anthony. Opening up with the emotional ballad “Mourning Song”, Anthony offers a song of loneliness and solidarity that shows us she’s trying to fight back from a breakup, ‘…tell my mind to go into the dark to search for you/hard as it may be to fight.’ She continues to describe her struggle in the closing lines of the song painting imagery with her simple lyrics that cut straight to the heart, ‘…..tomorrow’s script plays out the same as today/I stay asleep/dream of the days I’d like to keep apart from the others I’ve lived.’

Anthony seems to take turns down a rocky road with the ensuing tracks. The jangly pop of “Don’t Deny” is a far cry from the lyrical context where Anthony has caught her lover in a lie, ‘your strength is falling for $50 whores/your money is dirty/but your hands stay clean….’ While on “All This Time” Anthony assumes the fault for the state of a failed relationship. Not even halfway through this effort and we’ve seen the rise of a budding songwriter who struggled to get comfortable with fronting a band. Looks like Anthony made the right choice. The album, produced in part by Jay Bennett (Wilco) and Chris Fudurich (Nada Surf) is disarmingly beautiful and allows Anthony’s charmingly seductive vocals to paint pictures with a fine literary brush. Comparisons to Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams and early era Sarah McLaughlin have been made, but make no mistake about it. Anthony is an independent woman whose gut-punching delivery is enough to knock you for a loop.

Effortlessly intermingling country and blues both with phrasing and lyrical context the album comes and ends gently, but gets raucous around the midway point. Blues run deep in Anthony’s blood and her knack for playing them seem only like a natural progression to where she’ll be heading. “Bubble Clock” and “Family Tree” are the building blocks of this solid effort that is flanked by less-meaty, but equally as emotional songs that pierce your heart including the beautiful balladry of “Radio Waves” and “Closer”. One listen and you can’t deny that Anthony is one of the Midwest’s best kept secrets. Grade: A
- Roots Highway


"Michelle Anthony"

A girl and a piano – one serves as the voice for emotion, the other as an altar on which to let those emotions burn. Michelle Anthony’s solo album Stand Fall Repeat showcases some of the strongest girl-and-piano ballads since the appearance of Susan Tedeschi’s Just Won’t Burn.

With touches of country, pop, blues and rock, Anthony evokes such artists as Sheryl Crow, Susan Tedeschi, Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris. Pulling the melody line to the top and keeping the focus on her lovely vocals, Stand Fall Repeat is at times disarmingly pretty.

Gleaming production credentials offered by Jay Bennett of Wilco and Chris Fudurich make Anthony’s first solo effort a delight that unveils her enviable vocal chops, showing that simple can be spectacular. Although a girl and a piano aren’t always the showiest tools in the biz, they are certainly tried and true.

- Vital Source


"Michelle Anthony - Stand Fall Repeat"

Recently I reviewed Tift Merritt’s album “Tambourine.” As my review indicated, I enjoyed the album. But, Tift doesn’t need the publicity that a little ol’ reviewer like me will muster. Tift already has the backing of a high profile record label (Lost Highway) and has garnered press from the likes of Rolling Stone and People magazine. That’s why as a reviewer for a less mainstream outlet it gives me great pleasure to introduce newer, lesser-known artists (or artists that have dropped out of the spotlight). It is my responsibility to create hoopla for artists that deserve hoopla.

Michelle Anthony is as talented as Tift without the hoopla. Her music is best described as Alt-country meets Chrissie Hynde. In fact, her song “Bubble Clock” is so comparable to an early Chrissy Hynde number that it’s eerie. Sometimes I even hear shades of Beth Orton in her voice, as showcased on the first down-tempo number, “Mourning Song.” “Ivy Rider” is also a Beth Orton-esque number. Her voice keeps those two songs gloomy but give credit to Michelle as her voice could have easily transformed the songs into joyful tracks. There is plenty of joy on the album and plenty of rocking tunes such as “Analog Feeling” and “Family Tree,” the latter which kicks out a little electric piano for full effect.

Michelle is not all about country flavor rocking. “Closer” is a beautifully crafted slow country sleeper that highlights Michelle’s golden vocals. “Today” captures yet another side of Michelle, this time showcasing her piano playing ability. That ability is also evident in the disc’s best song, “Radio Waves.”

This is a top-notch first effort. The album was produced by Jay Bennett (former Wilco and current solo artist) along with Michelle and Scott Anthony. This collaborative production makes the album work. More importantly, Michelle deserves to have any accolades bestowed on her that other outstanding female vocalists in her genre are currently enjoying. Michelle has already had numerous write-ups in newspapers across the Midwest. But, instead of the grass-roots publicity, I would love to see a review of this album in, say, a magazine like Entertainment Weekly. What grade did Tift get from EW? A- from EW? O.K., then let me be the first to not only review a record but also grade a record on this web site. My grade for Michelle: A-.
- CDReviews.com


Discography

-Stand Fall Repeat (August 2004)
-Frozen Star Palace (Summer 2006)
-Jay Bennett's second solo album, The Beloved Enemy, includes a vocal duet with Michelle and Jay on the song "If I Forgot How to Land."
-A Christmas collaboration between Michelle and Afrodisiac Soundsystem can be found on "Christmas Eclectic"
She also contributed on the following:
West of Rome, Drunk Tank Decoy (2005)
Dustworks, Midwestern Lights (2005)
Neil Young Tribute (West of Rome - Winterlong) (2006)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Michelle Anthony is a Kansas City native, Milwaukee transplant and current resident of Austin, Texas. Born into a musical family, she began playing the piano when she was a toddler.

Michelle released her first solo album, "Stand Fall Repeat," in August 2004 on the Chicago label Burn and Shiver. In recording her album, she had the chance to work with one of her favorite musicians, Jay Bennett, at his studio in Chicago. She toured the Midwest extensively and played Los Angeles, NYC and Austin, TX. Michelle also appeared on Mountain Stage (West Virginia) in October 2004 with k.d. Lang and Bruce Cockburn and on the WGN-TV Morning Show in Chicago. Michelle and her band played the 2005 South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas. And this past summer opened up for Mindy Smith and Shelby Lynne at Milwaukee's Summerfest.

Michelle's debut release, Stand Fall Repeat (produced by Jay Bennett ex-Wilco) could be described as the following: Had Liz Phair gone to Los Angeles circa 1972 to make a record with Gram Parsons and the members of Sheryl Crow's Tuesday Night Music Club.

Her new record Frozen Star Palace, was recorded with Barry Goldberg (Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Smashing Pumpkins). The album was recorded in Chicago, Milwaukee, Los Angeles and Austin, TX. Players on the album include Scott Anthony; Gerald Dowd (Robbie Fulks); Grant Tye (Robbie Fulks); Brian Wooldridge (Wooldridge Brothers), Ryan Stang (Dustworks); melaniejane; and Chris Lovejoy. Engineers on the album include Ric Probst, Jay O'Rourke, Mark Hallman and Ned Stewart.