Annabel Lee has one of the most intense live shows we've ever seen, at SXSW the crowd was absolutely insane. You can just feel the cathartic release in her songs, she's releasing some demons. We talked to her about the challenges she's faced in music and what's next for her.
Can you tell me kind of about the start of your music journey? The origin story.
Annabel Lee: I mean, I've been touring and playing and writing for like 15 years now. I'm from Massachusetts. I kind of got my bearings in the hardcore scene as the acoustic opener. Then I did a lot of songwriter nights and stuff and Cambridge and all over New England. Then about six years ago, I made the jump and moved to LA, and that's when I met my band. We've been playing together ever since. So it's been awesome. That's a very, very truncated version.
Tell me about your new album. Can you tell kind of the inspo behind it?
Annabel Lee: My new album came out last week. It's called Mother's Hammer, and it's about-- it's about a lot of things, but I guess the artist's statement is kind of just womanhood and humanity and my experience with love throughout my life. And a lot of themes like addiction and being fucking broke and out of your mind. Things like that that we've all been through. A lot of that on there, but it's a fun album. It's got a lot of weird stuff going on. I'm really proud of it. I'm really excited.
I know you've been in music for such a long time. Can you kind of tell me about one of the biggest challenges that you've been facing in music? I know there's probably a lot.
Annabel Lee: There are so many. Honestly, the biggest challenge is the impostor syndrome. Just feeling like you're not worthy of opportunity when you get it. And I know in my mind that we're worthy of all these things we're doing. But it's hard to believe it sometimes. And I think that gets in a lot of artists' way. Because if you don't believe it, nobody else will. So.
I feel like, especially in something as competitive as the music industry, it's so easy to be like, oh, why am I not where this person is? How do you kind of deal with that feeling of the comparison game?
Annabel Lee: The comparison on Instagram and TikTok and everywhere. I mean, it's easy to compare yourself, but it's also like, I have to remember that I do something completely different than everyone else, and that's what I bring to the table. So just keeping that is a very difficult struggle for me. But yeah, I mean, I'm doing good today. I feel good today. So day to day.
I feel like you need to take little wins and like kind of store them in your brain. And be like, yeah, but I fucking crushed that show.
Annabel Lee: I did this. I did that. And then being proud of the shit you make and really liking it. If you're making shit for other people and not yourself, then you're going to lose.
Yeah, I love that. How do you kind of stay motivated to create?
Annabel Lee: It's kind of like I don't really have a choice. It's like the thing I do. I'm always coming up with shit, whether it's video ideas. I like writing scripts for things, and then acting them out, and then filming them and editing them. I like doing all the things. So even if it's not writing songs, I'm doing some shit all the time. I'm just-- I'm a maker by nature. So I don't really-- I need the motivation to be a human being. That's harder for me.
What has been kind of inspiring you lately? Any hyper-fixations? Anything you're really into?
Annabel Lee: I've been really into food. Food has been inspiring me. No, but seriously, it's been this weird thing. I recently got really into cooking. When I'm stressed out, or I'm anxious, I will watch Chopped or a cooking show. A cooking competition, because I like the fire.
I can't watch cooking competitions because I get so nervous, and I feel so bad if someone messes up.
Annabel Lee: But food is so-- it's so sexy and also so intuitive the way that music is. I see chefs just, oh, sniffing an herb and throwing it in. And I was like, that's what I do. That gets me pumped. I really like cooking. So I guess that's right now. And I love cooking for my husband because he gets really excited, and it's over the top. Oh my God, it's so good. I'm like, yeah, I know. It's good for my ego.
What's next for you?
Annabel Lee: It's just world domination. Nothing on the schedule yet, but we'll get back to you when something is. Working on just getting on tour, because that's the next thing.