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Annie Girl was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. When she was 17, she left home for the streets of San Francisco. Less than two years later she was in the legendary Hyde Street Studio, making her first record with a band whose resumés include Nina Natasia, Victoria Williams and Jolie Holland. Self-titled record Annie Girl and the Flight, released in February 2013, was named MOJO magazine’s album of the month
Annie started playing piano when she was three, moved to saxophone at six (she wanted to be Lisa Simpson) and guitar at nine. In her early teens while playing in one of Denver’s local punk bands, she began to write songs and never stopped.
Splitting for San Francisco, she was taken in by The Ark, an art collective/crash pad in San Francisco’s SoMa district, where she awed an audience of local musicians with her songs. The next few months were a whirlwind. She joined a band, the Fuzzy Hunnies, and was discovered playing alone in a park by an indie label, which recorded her songs.
But she decided against releasing them – because, following a magical experience in the redwood forest, she found her voice and started writing new songs with a very different direction and sound. Unlike her early folk-punk, these were slow, sophisticated, mesmerizing, experimental folk, with almost trance-like music and profound, poetic lyrics about relationships and the heart. Working at lightning pace, she had a new album ready to record.
First though she toured the North West with Os Beaches, playing tambourine and singing backup for Mark Matos, the artist known for his cross-pollinated “anti-band” collectives featuring members of the Bay Area’s rock, classical, and experimental music communities. When she returned, she put together her own band, and with Matos as her “spiritual adviser”, recorded her album.
Since then, Annie’s time has been divided between writing more great songs and playing live – sometimes acoustic sets (including two acclaimed solo shows at the 12 Bar in London), but mostly with her electric band, a louder, edgier, almost psychedelic version of The Flight, now featuring Josh Pollock (Foxtails Brigade; 3 Leafs) on guitar and FX, Joe Lewis, on bass (Foxtails Brigade; Os Beaches) and Nick Ott (Emily Jane White) on drums. The combination of Annie Girl’s songs and the intensity of the live performance is mind-blowing. A new EP Pilot Electric will be released May 2014.
“Engrossing, mysterious …heightened and hypnotic.”
– Sylvie Simmons, MOJO album of the month March 2013
“It’s her absolute lack of showiness, her refusal to be anything other than exactly what she is, and her tendency to attract the entire room’s focus and energy not in spite of but because of that quality that makes her someone to watch: She has all the specific makings of a star who doesn’t seem to give a shit that she’s a star.”
– Emma Silvers, San Francisco Bay Guardian, March 19, 2014
Ēsthöm’s sound is derived much from an americana folk sound with some electricity thrown in at pertinent moments. At times the sound is quite stripped down to traditional instruments, and at other times mixed in with samples, electronics, and distorted guitars.
Ēsthöm is about creating music, songs, and sounds that come from the soul, the experience of life, and love with no boundaries. The name of the project, Ēsthöm is pronounced like east-home, which is the translation for my last name Ostheim.