Fluff and Gravy Records is proud to welcome Anna Tivel to the family. Raised among the ferns and the farmland of Northern Washington, Anna loved words long before they became the backbone of her music. “My sister, my mom and I would go to our little town library with a rolling suitcase and fill it to bursting,” she remembers, “we’d read in the car, in the bath, under the covers late at night, always piles of books, always music playing, from Paul Simon to Dylan, from The Kingston Trio to Itzaak Perlman.”
Entranced by the sound of her grandfather’s violin, Anna started learning in the first grade and never put it down. In 2006, she moved to Portland, muddled through college, and started waiting tables and playing some fiddle on the side. Over the next few years she was swept up by and welcomed into the Portland music scene, playing with multiple groups around town including the Nathaniel Talbot Quartet, Shook Twins, and The Jackalope Saints. But it wasn’t until she picked up the guitar, learned a few chords, and started writing songs, that music began to fill a much bigger space in her life. “It was like being dunked in cold water or slapped in the face…in a good way,” she says, “it suddenly became ok that i couldn’t seem to retain concrete information, that my head is always full of sensory things, smells and sounds and color. Suddenly there was a place for all of it.”
Anna’s first album, 2012’s self-released Brimstone Lullaby, was recorded by Rob Stroup at 8Ball Studio in SE Portland. The album is a fully flushed representation of that first year of songwriting, colored by some incredible local musicians. Her new album, titled Before Machines, brings a more intimate, raw batch of songs to the table, recorded mostly live and mixed to tape at Fluff and Gravy Studios, with a group of musicians who were only roughly familiar with the material. Bassist Sam Howard (Tony Furtado, Ruth Moody), guitarist Taylor Kingman (The Hilldogs) and drummer, David Strackany provided the backbone for the live tracks, with overdubs by Michael Monko (guitar) and Jeffrey Martin (vocals). The intention was to capture these songs in their most naked form, before multiple rehearsals and repetition had a chance to smooth over the edges. The result is a warm and honest record that allows Anna’s songwriting to be at the forefront.
Before Machines will be available on June 17, on cd and digitally. Anna will be touring throughout 2014 in support of the record (more details to come!)
You can pre-order now, here