Anathallo — (2000-2009)

Anathallo’s songs are intricate daydreams, at once self-effacing and confident enough to allow fragility [...] I can’t help being fond of a band that calls a song “Entropy,” explains that it’s based on Thomas Pynchon’s novel “The Crying of Lot 49,” sets out a joyful, odd-meter guitar riff that gives way to a delicate, almost whispered chorus and then, midway through the song, has band and audience members blowing up balloons to release them on cue.” – Jon Pareles, The New York Times

Anathallo began in 2000 in Mount Pleasant, a small town of roughly 26,000 people in the center of Michigan. We were in high school and recorded our first releases with a friend of a friend in a trailer home in rural Indiana. While recording, the seven of us slept in a minivan in a Pamida parking lot and took showers in the sink at McDonalds — details that foreshadowed the next 9 years.

Somewhere along the line, the band became our whole life. It’s hard to image it now, but the internet was just becoming a usable resource for self-determined artists. It enabled us to cobble together our first 18 tours of house shows & VFW halls across the country via early DIY web hubs like the Plus/Minus Message Board, BYOFL (book your own fucking life) and later on, Myspace.

I dropped out of school right before we began recording our first proper full-length, Floating World. The majority of the record was self-recorded on borrowed gear in a basement and overnight in the choir room of our town’s high school. After the initial independent release of Floating World, we formed an imprint through Sony/BMG called Artist Friendship to re-release the record with international distribution and continued to tour relentlessly in order to support a very modest living for our rotating cast of seven + members.

After the Floating World tour cycle had run it’s course, we relocated to Chicago in early 2007 to begin working on what would become Canopy Glow. We spent the majority of a year writing as artists-in-residence at Berry UMC while walking dogs and working at cafes. The album was recorded with very little compression at Engine Studios in Chicago by Neil Strauch (engineer) and released by Anticon. in the US and Moor Works in Japan. We were able to tour extensively in the US, Europe and Japan and play Coachella, Lollapalooza & Austin City Limits before going on hiatus in the Summer of 2009 to explore our other interests.

We were deeply nerdy and earnest — obsessed with music. The world we made with our songs felt so intensely tied to the strange ways that we learned to write together that it’s still kind of shocking to me that the band ever resonated with a wider audience. Truth be told, it feels like a fluke that we ever made it out of Michigan. I’m infinitely grateful for the experience of collaborating so closely with these people for nearly 10 years and that this weird thing we made together gave us the chance to travel all over the world. It’s hard to describe what it feels like to go from writing songs in your basement as a teen in a farm town to playing Coachella. To say that it shaped the way that I operate in the world would be an understatement. The skills and thought-processes that I learned in the band inform everything about the work that I make today.


Available Recordings:

Canopy Glow (2008)SPIN / Paste / 405 / Clash
Anathallo Japan Tour DVD & Canopy Glow Japan release (2008)

Out of Print:

Floating World (2006)
Anathallogy (2006)
Entropy — split 12” w/ Javelins (2005)
A Holiday at the Sea (2003)
Sparrows (2002)
Luminous Luminescence in the Atlas Position (2001)