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Annuals: WXPN's November 2008 Artist to Watch

Intricate, melodic, and vivid: the sound of North Carolina's Annuals is the epitome of sunny indie-pop. Their thoughtful harmonies, anthemic orchestration and percussion, and bright electronica has earned them rave reviews since their indie-label debut in 2006, the critic's darling Be He Me.

Annuals was spearheaded in Raleigh during 2003 by Adam Baker as a side-project of still-strong band Sunfold. The current six members of Annuals - Adam Baker (songwriter/vocals), Kenny Florence (lead guitar/backing vocals), Mike Robinson (bass/backing vocals), Anna Spence (keyboard/piano/vocals), Zak Oden (drums/guitar), and Donzel Radford (drums/percussion)- were all surprisingly young when the band released their first effort. When Be He Me came out and catapulted them onto indie-pop watch lists, their average age was 19. Since that time, the band's sound has matured but kept its youthful intensity. Citing influences such as Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, and Paul Simon, the Annuals' style draws references to contemporary bands Fleet Foxes, New Pornographers, Bloc Party, and Arcade Fire.

The sextet's latest effort, appropriately named Such Fun, stays true to Annual's tagged sound yet still displays enough variety to keep old fans while capturing the new. As stated in Billboard's review of the album, "[Such Fun] is as rich and diverse as 2006's Be He Me, unfolding with layers of piano and string flourishes, crunching guitar jams and vibrant pop melodies."

Origin: Raleigh, North Carolina
Recent Release: Such Fun
Release Date: October 7, 2008
Label: Canvasback Music

Song Clips:
listen Always Do | Confessor | Talking

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