Twinkle twinkle little star. The star of Anomie Belle started twinkling back in 2008 when her debut album Sleeping Patterns came out and touched many souls of music fans, and probably broke a few hearts. Today this star is shining bright with the new beautiful single “How Can I Be Sure” getting well-deserved media attention and the new album being eagerly awaited by thousands of fans. Singer, composer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Anomie Belle shines not only as a studio musician but as amazing live performer, continuously touring alongside such artists as Tricky and Bonobo. Today Anomie Belle answers trippin’ the rift‘s questions about inspiration for her music, the upcoming album and being a genius.
tipkin – You wrote your first song when you were ten? That’s pretty impressive! Can you tell us a bit about it? It was inspired by a horror movie soundtrack, right? This darkness remains in your music. Why do you find darkness inspiring?
Anomie Belle – My parents gave me a karaoke machine when I was ten, and as soon as I realized that I could record back and forth from tape to tape to stack instruments and layers in my songs, my world was altered forever. I didn’t really know what multi-track recording was, but I was drawn to layering from the start. One of the first songs I recorded was called “Revenge”, and was inspired by my recent exposure to the eerie soundtrack for the movie, Child’s Play. (I was also reading a string of teen thriller novels at the time and so felt amply qualified to write this creepy little love-song.)
First I recorded a simple piano line in a minor key, then a bass line, a few violin parts, a vibraphone, and a few vocal lines. As I recorded each instrument, tape distortion was created by recording back and forth from tape to tape, and the original piano line became more and more garbled and wobbly. This made the recording even creepier sounding. These days I create the distortion on purpose.
I guess the inspiration in darkness comes from the mystery in it. The experience of walking into new unknown spaces can be really powerful. It is often the things that we don’t know that are most exciting to us. The shadows leave room for imagination; they are alluring and inspiring. Darkness can be frightening, but it can also be still, quiet, beautiful and sexy.
t. – Do movies (or their soundtracks) still inspire you? What are sources for inspiration in general?
A.B. – I am always inspired by art, film, music, and life in general. Film soundtracks are particularly appealing because the marriage between narrative, visual art, and music can evoke such emotion. I got to tour with Gustavo Santaolalla recently and he is a pretty inspiring film composer. I also really admire Jon Brion as a film composer.
t. – A question I ask all my interviewees: what is trip-hop to you? And how do you feel about Anomie Belle being classified as a trip-hop artist?
A.B. – I suppose “trip-hop” is a label people use to identify a particular genre of music, and it also refers to a general sound with a specific history. Most people refer to music as “trip-hop” when its sexy or trippy, and that is the mood in which I most often write music, so I’m cool with it. Any label is both useful and meaningless.