Artist Of The Week #0093 - Annabel Allum

Annabel Allum 2 (c) Stephanie Carral.jpg

This week’s Artist of the Week is the wonderful Annabel Allum, who has just released her new EP ‘Gravel Not The Grave’ via Killing Moon. She took a moment to talk to us about the EP, and the festival she has curated in her home town of Guildford this month. 

Your EP ‘Gravel Not The Graves’ is out now, what the inspiration behind the title?
Essentially, it’s the notion that if something needs to change, change it. You can move gravel, or you can take shit to your grave. The track listing is designed to take you on a journey through adjustment.

It is being released via Killing Moon, how does it feel to be on that label?
Killing Moon are family. It’s a close knit team that work really hard on what they put out. The label is an extension of my manager and therefore an extension of me. I’m passionate about what they do so it felt right to put this out on KM.

Where was the EP recorded, any behind the scenes stories?
The EP was recorded in two segments with Adrian Hall. We did the first half of recordings (You Got It Good, When the Wind Stopped, Time to Go/Estivation) back in January and the rest we finished early May. It was a really cool process as I had done a load of pre-production and really worked on parts before hand.

What was your creative process like, when putting the EP together?
It was strange because the theme formed about half way through when I realised what I was channeling through these songs. I wanted to write something powerful. Altar to Alter was written with the intention of it being my protest song. I wanted to write something that made me feel like “fuck yeah I’m here and I have the ability to change anything if I put my mind to it.”
The visuals throughout this campaign had a lot of thought behind it too. The first three singles all contained imagery of growth (flowers, nature). Shot on film by Stephanie Carrall. Then you’re hit with the industrial sound of Baby Berlin and the iPhone shot EP cover. I like the juxtaposition. It’s got a huge man made sculpture in it which we found outside the back of an old mine in Belgium we played at earlier this year.

How did you pick the songs to go on it?
Honestly, it was always going to be those six tracks. They make sense as a unit, and I feel like there’s something for everyone dynamically, too.

When it comes to playing shows, you have been rather busy - having supported the likes of Beth Ditto, Nadine Shah, Alex Lahey, plus a rather emotional performance at Reading Festival. What has been your favorite highlight when it comes to performing live?
Crikey! What a question. Reading Festival was obviously a big moment for me, it was my first festival and seeing my name on the iconic yellow poster made me feel sick with exhilaration. I feel very lucky to do what I do and open up for/meet musicians I really admire. The Beth Ditto tour changed my life, and changed me. It was an experience that I always struggle to find the words for... but I am different because of it.

Now the EP is out there, what are your plans for the next few months?
Writing, writing, writing. I’m pretty sure I’m about to isolate myself for some time and start work on my debut album. Eek! Yes I said it....ha!
Other than that I’m putting on my very own festival on the 22nd September at the Boileroom in Guildford. It’s a huge homecoming thing for me...I haven’t played Guildford in years! I’ve curated the whole thing so there’s gonna be a load of acts I rate, two stages, cake sales, craft stalls and a raffle all in aid of RASASC which is the local Rape & Sexual Assault support centre. It’s gonna be badass!

Live Dates
22nd September – Perceptible Festival, The Boileroom, Guildford
26th September – Moles, Bath
18th-19th October – Wild Paths

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