Band To Watch

Band To Watch: Annuals

Ace Fu has a major buzz band on its hands with North Carolina’s Annuals. Our friends at PFork describe them as “a fantasy hybird of Animal Collective, the Arcade Fire, and Broken Social Scene.” That’s one way of saying these teenage guys (and gal) can effortlessly take on hushed folk, fuzzy pop, and, in the case of smash “Brother,” twee lullaby to hard rock freakout in under four minutes. Plus “The Bull And The Goat” is so damn jammy we know the Bonnaroo-bound will just eat it up. “Sway” is a stunning closer, and all these songs demand repeated listens.

Given the sextet’s kitchen-sink soundsapes and familial song titles, the Arcade Fire comparisons were inevitable. But they’re not unwarranted. Just know that Annuals are so much more fun.

The hype machine has long been in motion for this band, so we feel sorta silly calling them a Band To Watch (we know, we know … you blogged about them first.) But hey, we’re busy looking at photos of Suri Cruise — sometimes a great CD sits at the bottom of the pile for too long.

One might question Ace Fu’s logic behind giving away three of the best songs on an album that’s not out ’til mid-October…

Annuals – “Brother” (MP3)
Annuals – “Bleary Eyed” (MP3)
Annuals – “Dry Clothes” (MP3)

…but hey, we’re not complaining! In fact, they’re letting us “premiere” (for the non-pirates) a fourth song from Be He Me. Right click and save, as this lilting piano-led waltz really does sound like a fantasy hybird of Animal Collective, Arcade Fire, and BSS.

Annuals – “Complete Or Completing” (MP3 link removed)

You can stream a fifth song from the album at

We hear they’re killer live, and lead singer Adam Baker sometimes sports a costume. We like costumes.

Sep 12 2006 9:00P Khyber Philadelphia, PA
Sep 14 2006 8:00P Sin-E playing with Friction/ KEXP New York, NY
Sep 15 2006 8:00P NorthSix Brooklyn, NY
Sep 16 2006 9:00P The Middle East Boston, MA
Sep 18 2006 9:00P Grog Shop w/ MAN MAN Cleveland , OH
Sep 19 2006 8:00P Subterranean Chicago, IL
Oct 19 2006 8:00P Irving Plaza with Art Brut New York, NY
Oct 20 2006 8:00P the Starlight Ballroom with Art Brut Philadelphia, PA
Oct 22 2006 8:00P Bottletree with tapes ‘n tapes Birmingham, AL
Oct 24 2006 8:00P Club Down Under with tapes ‘n tapes Tallahasee, FL
Oct 25 2006 8:00P Common Grounds with tapes ‘n tapes Gainesville
Oct 26 2006 8:00P The Social with tapes ‘n tapes Orlando, FL
Oct 27 2006 8:00P Cafe 11 playing with tapes ‘n tapes St. Augustine, FL
Oct 28 2006 8:00P Tasty World with tapes ‘n tapes Athens, GA
Oct 29 2006 8:00P The Loft with tapes ‘n tapes Atlanta, GA
Oct 30 2006 8:00P the Local 506 with tapes n’ tapes Chapel Hill, NC
Oct 31 2006 8:00P Black Cat with tapes ‘n tapes Washington, DC

Finally, Annuals are releasing a silkscreened limited-edition 7″ of “Brother” b/w “Ease My Mind.” Limited to 500 copies, and availble via Junketboy to some of the indie Coalition stores and Newbury Comics.

And in case you were wondering if they’re playing CMJ — our sources say: Duh! See you Friday 11/3 at Bowery Ballroom!

UPDATE: They decided to print 1,000 of those 7″s. And give ten of them to Stereogum to give to YOU for free. If you want one, just leave a comment saying why you like Annuals. Use your real e-mail address so we can contact you if you win (you’re not signing up for anything and you won’t get spam; people who say that are liars!) We’ll pick ten winners randomly on Thursday, 9/21 at 6 PM EST, so make your plea by then.

Tags: Annuals