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Annadelle is (from left to right): Asa Lane, Allison Kimber, Noah Lane, and James Cech.

Article by Gina Myers

Though they finished second at the recent Phoenix Productions Battle of the Bands competition at Creative 360 in Midland, Annadelle left a strong impression on the audience with their unique sound and style.  The Flint-based band had only been together since the start of the year, but they already looked like seasoned veterans of the indie rock scene.  They were poised, confident, and looked like they were actually enjoying themselves.  Their on stage maturity belies the band's youthfulness.  Annadelle is composed of James Cech (22) on vocals, guitar, and piano, Allison (Allie) Kimber (16) on bass guitar, vocals, and piano, Noah Lane (19) on lead electric guitar, and Asa Lane (21) on drums, cymbals, and piano.

At Creative 360, the group demonstrated their range by playing mostly original songs and a cover of Coldplay's "Fix You."  James and Allie took turns on lead vocals, and during one song they even swapped instruments, with Allie singing lead and playing guitar and James playing bass.  Their originals had complex song structures, and their cover was not a simple recreation, but a creative re-interpretation. 

Their unique sound can be credited to their diverse musical backgrounds and influences. James, who also plays cello and works as the musical director at his church, loves classical music but also is influenced by current bands like Coldplay, Nickel Creek, and Maroon 5.  While Allie shares his orchestral background, she also draws from The Beatles, Paramore, and The Hush Sound.  Noah and Asa are both influenced by Coheed and Cambria, but their tastes diverge from there. Noah is inspired by Kutlass and the Foo Fighters, whereas Asa likes Motion City Soundtrack, Anberlin, Dave Matthews Band, and Roeper.

Their eclectic background and influences leave some people confused. "A lot of people our age at shows don't know what to think exactly,"says Asa.  "Many of them have been swept into the new forms of alternative scene stuff while their parents dug the Goo Goo Dolls and Gin Blossoms back in the 90s.  I think we harken back to that style more than what's really popular currently, so when people realize that, they really get into our sound." He adds, "I read on a Great Lakes Myth Society blog that they 'win fans over one at a time,' and I think that speaks of Annadelle as well, and those fans really stick."

The band began to form when James and Asa met in a Workplace Communications class at Baker College.  When James showed up to class wearing a Mr. D'Arcy costume, Asa took notice.  The two began talking and quickly discovered they both played music.  After jamming together a couple of times, Asa asked his brother Noah to join on guitar.  Shortly after, James brought Allie into the group.  James and Allie began playing together a few years ago in a string duet called Simply Serendipity.  Although Allie could sing and play flute, guitar, violin, and fiddle, she didn't know how to play bass at the time, but she was willing to learn in order to join the band.  After playing together for a few months and even performing live a few times without a name, the band finally settled on Annadelle, which is Allie's middle name.  "She was a tad reluctant at first, but it worked out," explains Asa.  "We all thought Annadelle was a beautiful name and asked what she thought of using it."

The group has recorded one self-released EP, The Adam & Eve EP, which consists of seven tracks and serves as a good introduction to the band.  From the opening song to the final cut, The Adam & Eve EP is a solid debut.  While most tracks are upbeat, "These Extra Colours"  and "Scrapped" slow things down and show the band's range.  Throughout the album, the songs are catchy, and the instrumentation is tight.  The lyrics largely deal with universal themes like love and loss, but there remains a sense of hopefulness and promise for the future.  The opening verse of "Never" creates great tension between the vocals and the music.  The song opens quietly, until James's soft voice is met by a crashing cymbal and heavy guitar riff.  The song builds from there, with the music creating the perfect tension to match the emotional intensity of the song.  

Both James and Allie demonstrate a wide vocal range on the album.  At times, James's voice is reminiscent of Jeff Buckley, especially on "Scrapped," and other times his voice shows a musical theater range, powerful, clear, and rising to great heights, like in "The Lighthouse."  Allie's voice is equally powerful and has an ethereal quality to it.  The EP ends on a high note with the final song on the album, "Dissonance," showcasing both James and Allie's vocals and the strong instrumentation that has been consistent throughout.  The Adam & Eve EP is a strong debut from a promising, young band.

In "Get Away," James sings, "Hurry up, grab your bag, get in the car / Make sure you wish upon a star / Get you out of here / The night is young and skies are clear."  Although the song is about a relationship where one partner is overlooking what he or she already has for the unknown out there/the dream of seeing his or her name in lights, the line "The night is young and skies are clear" could easily apply to the band itself.  The future is wide open.  "Our goal as a band is to see where this music and God takes us.  We are all open to making it a profession if it calls for us to do so, but we understand if it doesn't work out--that's life," says Asa.  "We love playing music, love playing it for people, and love getting to know those people," he adds.  The band is currently in talks with different people in Nashville and as far away as Australia about possibly recording and producing another EP or a full length album.  "Our options and possible opportunities are there, we're just working out how to use them the right way."

Annadelle is using their current downtime to write new music and prepare for a full schedule of weekend gigs this winter, mostly at churches.  Asa says, "We are not a 'Christian' band, but we are a band of born-again Christians and do well with the church crowd."  To keep up to date with the latest news and schedule information, or to find out how to get a copy of their EP, visit Annadelle on MySpace: http://myspace.com/annadellemusic

© Gina Myers, 2009