Annuals are friends. Annuals are plant enthusiasts & animal lovers. Annuals are part of a harmonious family and Annuals also happen to be a band (and quite a good one at that). Hailing from the tranquilly artistic town of Raleigh, NC, Annuals are a talented assembly of young musicians, all of whom are barely of legal drinking age and whose debut was released just short of their twentieth birthdays. And when Annuals get together, the music they create, in Annuals or otherwise, is very special indeed.
Three of Annuals' members - Adam Baker (songwriter/vocals/every other instrument under the sun), Kenny Florence (lead guitar/backing vocals) and Mike Robinson (bass/backing vocals) - picked up instruments at a very early age and started playing music together almost ten years ago. Zack Oden (drums/guitar), Donzel Radford (drums/percussion) and Anna Spence (keyboard/piano/backing vocals) soon followed, solidifying the group's six person line-up in 2005. And from this more-than-potent combination of players and personalities an incredible music collective was born. Frontman Baker, a gifted composer who had already amassed a body of work by age 17, is an expert at constructing beautifully layered soundscapes that morph and blossom into lush, bombastic pop anthems. In turn, Annuals' debut full length release in 2006, Be He Me, on indie tastemaker label Ace Fu, secured the band as blog darlings right out of the gate, with critics and music lovers quick to follow. After tours with The Flaming Lips, Bloc Party and Calexico, Annuals continued to impress with their exuberant live performances, Southern charm, youthful attitude and amazingly crafted and eclectic songs. If their sound proved the limitless possibilities of their musical imaginations, their shows established them as a mad, energetic force in which members often switched instruments between and during songs. And now, Annuals are ready for more.
Their collaborative, no-holds-barred spirit goes well beyond the confines of the band. The group's myriad of musical, artistic, and business-related endeavors within their community of immediate friends has only begun to pick up speed. They continuously record and play shows around their hometown when not on tour, and not just as Annuals either: each individual heads his or her own side projects with all of the same members, but in different musical roles, a testament to the strength of their creative union. All of these projects revolve around hometown-based record label, Terpsikhore (also partially owned by members of Annuals), allowing the Annuals collective to act as the spearhead for a much bigger, and perhaps impossibly ambitious, dream shared by the group and all of their friends to get good music out to the masses any way possible.
Next up for Annuals, who just recently signed to Canvasback Records, a Columbia custom imprint overseen by the A&R guru, Steve Ralbovsky, is a brand new EP released on April 1st, 2008. Interestingly, the EP entitled, Wet Zoo, is a split EP with 3 Annuals songs and an introduction to the Annuals-based side project, Sunfold, which is features songs written by Annuals lead guitarist Kenny Florence, in addition to the talents of the other Annuals members. Look forward to Annuals' sophomore full-length release also on Canvasback in fall 2008.