Release Date: October 23, 2015
bill (at) teamclermont (dot) com
“Worn Out Skin” is the newest album from Annabelle’s Curse, a transcendent, genre-busting five-piece band that deftly sways from haunting and ethereal melody to unflinching and unforgettable rhythm and riffs.
Like a sweet drink of rare whiskey, or that last delicious bite, Annabelle’s Curse entices listeners to gorge on a sound that can neither be wholly defined nor completely categorized.
Musically and lyrically, Annabelle’s Curse draws from unyielding roots in Bristol, Virginia. The lyrics — sometimes haunting, sometimes hopeful — are consistently eloquent and evocative, rare and irresistible.
On “Rich Valley” an ode to the band’s home, Tim Kilbourne’s and Carly Booher’s sweet, soulful vocals take listeners there — to that place, to those rolling hills, that peaceful river and the cool mountain air. Enticing harmonies punctuate the song, and Booher’s mandolin, ever-present here, provides an element of bluegrass that drives the story, which the band tells with technical precision.
Kilbourne, who plays guitar and does much of the writing, started Annabelle’s Curse with Zack Edwards, a high-energy guitarist who plays with such alacrity he developed a well-earned reputation for breaking strings. Travis Goyette and Tyler Luttrell bring the rhythm, artfully playing the drums and bass, respectively.
It’s easy to pin Annabelle’s Curse with the Americana label, which has become all encompassing. But this band, regardless of genre, is so much more. It can mesmerize listeners with a poignant, resonant ballad then wake them with the equivalent of a musical punch to the gut, sometimes all within the same song.
On “Beneath the Clouded Moon,” for instance Kilbourne and Booher pair powerful harmony and a catchy chorus, evolving toward a tight yet free-willing instrumental, the bass and drums driving a progressive yet familiar breakout juxtaposed against searing guitars and a ringing mandolin.
The acoustic “Cornerstone,” which Kilbourne — who shines here — played at his wedding, is beautifully sublime, a naked expression of love and commitment.
“Their emotive, post-folk songs sweep from intimate whisper to anthem-like choruses, placing them in a category of bands like Mumford and Sons and The Decemberists that are testing the boundaries of modern Americana,” writes WDVX in Knoxville, Tennessee.
People are listening. A festival standout, Annabelle’s Curse performs perennially at Bristol Rhythm and Roots, and the band made quite the impression this year at Rooster Walk 7 and again at FloydFest, a burgeoning mega-festival along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. (The band was runner-up in the festival’s On the Rise competition last year).
Says The Huffington Post, “This five-piece alternative folk band from Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia doesn't seem to be cursed as much as blessed with talent."
Indeed. Place them where you will, but Annabelle’s Curse offers a sumptuous blend of folk, bluegrass, even rock. It’s the music, its originality and the addictive nature, that truly defines this rising group of unassuming yet superbly talented musicians.
By: John Trump