I first heard the floating tones of Anna-Lynne Williams through a video podcast of the band Trespassers William on the brilliant radio program Morning Becomes Eclectic. Trespassers William (taking its name from a Winnie the Pooh story), is a Southern California band, a sort of dream-pop, mellow sound that blends acoustic instruments with occasional electronic accompaniment. To date they have released three albums, and a fourth is in the works. Some of the band members have embarked on solo projects. Lotte Kestner is the effort of lead singer Anna-Lynne Williams, and is available to purchase online. Unfortunately if you frequent brick and mortar stores for your CDs, you may not find a copy there. Listen to the songs over at Anna-Lynne Williams’ mySpace site, and support beautiful music.
I have wandered many paths through the 30 plus years I have listened to and loved music. I find myself now enjoying a variety of sounds, from the diamond-edged guitar symphonies of Explosions in the Sky, to the nuanced work of Robin Guthrie, to the ambient sounds of the album leaf, to the unpretentious dream pop of bands like Devics and Trespassers William, the now defunct Azure Ray, and similar but different bands.
I don’t pay much attention to pop music, either current or yesteryear; at least one person I know will shudder at the following anecdote: at a recent gathering of developers several people competed in a Rock Band play-off. A band formed by co-workers chose the song, “Tom Sawyer.” I had no clue as to who originally played this, as I have never heard anything by Rush. In high school, when my musical tastes gelled, I listed to BBC’s John Peel. Indie sounds… Most of the music I embrace is encountered through chance; links mentioning influences and “sounds like” that pan out one in a while. Sigur Ros was like that, a chance listen via an iTunes network connection at work. For a while whenever I was deep in the code I would listen to Sigur Ros on repeat.
I don’t deliberately embrace the obscure, but I find it neat when I come upon hitherto unknown sounds like the Danish band Under Byen. I gave up pushing my tastes onto other people years ago (I think I drove people crazy in high school when I brought my Cocteau Twins tapes to play on the school bus, back in 1985), but I still feel the urge to write about some of the kinds of music I enjoy. Music is one of those elements that define who we are, and there are times we humans feel the urge to declaim those definitions from the mountaintop, perhaps as a statement to the universe: look, I exist! This is part of who I am!