Anna Oxygen

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Anna Oxygen
Anna Oxygen by Cloud Eye Control.jpg
Background information
Birth name Anna Jordan Huff
Origin Olympia, Washington
Genres Electropop, psychedelic folk
Occupation(s) Actress, vocalist, musician, songwriter
Instruments Piano, vocals, etc.
Years active Late 1990s-present
Labels Kill Rock Stars, Cold Crush Records, K Records
Associated acts The Space Ballerinas, Cloud Eye Control
Website Official website

Anna Jordan Huff is an American singer-songwriter, producer, composer, multi-media artist, and actress best known by her stage Anna Oxygen. After starting her music career as a member of the Space Ballerinas, a synthpop group then based in Olympia, she recorded her debut solo album All Your Faded Things (2003) with producer Justin Trosper,[1] before releasing her second album This Is an Exercise (2006) on the Kill Rock Stars label.[1] Her albums have featured guest vocalists such as Beth Ditto and Mirah.[1]

Currently based in Los Angeles, Huff has appeared as a guest artist on recordings by groups such as The Microphones.[1] Huff is also a member of Cloud Eye Control, a performance art group, and is a member of the psychedelic folk group Day/Moon.[2] Her feature film debut as an actress was the 2005 film Police Beat,[3] and she has written for a number of film soundtracks, including the three films This World Made Itself, Myth and Infrastructure, and Dreaming of Lucid Living, animated by Miwa Matreyek, and numerous short films by animator Maureen Selwood.

Early life[edit]

Anna Jordan Huff was raised near Tacoma, Washington, where she went to high school. Early on she developed an interest in music, becoming an avid fan of artists such as Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. She was particularly influenced by "Total Eclipse" by Klaus Nomi, a track from the 1981 new wave soundtrack Urgh! A Music War. While a student she took part in a number of choirs and musical productions, and also spent time around the local folk music scene.[4]

Music career[edit]

Space Ballerinas (1990s-2001)[edit]

Huff began her musical career in the late 1990s with the novelty synth-pop group the Space Ballerinas, based in Olympia. She handled vocals and keyboards, as well as helping write their original material.[4] Making their debut as a trio at Ladyfest Olympia, the group released two EPs on Yoyo Records entitled "Diamonds" and "If Goth Was Pink" and opened a show for Peaches before disbanding in 2001.[5] Also around this time she contributed to albums by local artists such as The Blow, Phil Elverum, Mirah, and Karl Blau.[6][1]

Solo material, acting (2002-2007)[edit]

Anna Oxygen at Bumbershoot in 2005, while touring in support of her debut solo album All Your Faded Things.

Huff's solo career started in 2002 after she moved from Olympia to Seattle.[5] She then recorded All Your Faded Things with producer Justin Trosper, which was released on Cold Crush Records (an affiliate of Dim Mak Records founded by Derek Fudesco of Murder City Devils and Steve Aoki) in 2003.[1] MacKenzie Wilson of Allmusic termed the album synthpop and commented on the "minimalist approach" of the production, stating "she adds a bit of sauce to the new-millennium electroclash stage and celebrates the delicious design of classic new wave."[7]

Huff's feature film debut as an actress was in the 2005 film Police Beat, an American crime film written by Charles Mudede of The Stranger.[3]

"This Is an Exercise [is] just as fascinating as it is chilly and alienating. In her songs, Oxygen explores some of the same issues of authenticity, creation, and consumption that Tracy + the Plastics do, but with a sci-fi/fantasy bent."
Allmusic[8]

After releasing the single "45 Meet Jennifer," Huff released her second album This Is an Exercise on the Kill Rock Stars label on February 21, 2006.[1] As Anna Oxygen, she composed the album herself, handling primary vocals and sequencing. It featured guest artists such as Kitty Jensen and Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn as vocalists. Portland artist Jona Bechtolt helped Huff with the cover art.[8] With mostly original music, the album also includes a cover of "Willow's Song" by American composer Paul Giovanni[6] The album was met with a largely positive reception.[8] The Phoenix New Times wrote that Huff's vocal stylings were "a perfect contrast to the rhythmically ebullient programmed synths and beats supporting them - backdrops coursing, playful, robotic, and pop basic."[9] In 2007, as Anna Oxygen she released a single on the "Play, Kids Compilation" on Desoto Records.[1]

Cloud Eye Control (2007-present)[edit]

Main article: Cloud Eye Control
Allison Wolfe, Anna Oxygen (center) and Jen Smith at a 2011 conference

While attending CalArts in Los Angeles, California as a graduate student in 2007, Huff formed Cloud Eye Control with fellow students Miwa Matreyek and Chi-wang Yang. Cloud-Eye Control is an experimental theater group, with Huff handling composition, co-creation and serving as a primary performer.[10] In 2009 the group completed and performed the multimedia performance art piece entitled Under Polaris, first performed in Portland, Oregon and hosted by the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA).[2] Under Polaris sold out a five-day run at REDCAT in Los Angeles, and was featured at the 2009 National Performers Network conference in Knoxville, Tennessee. In 2010 the show traveled to the Exit Festival in Paris, and the Fusebox Festival in Austin, Texas.[2] The Los Angeles Times called the show "retro-futuristic" and "a transcendently spectacular piece of theater."[10]

Huff, Flying Lotus, and Eric Lindley contributed music to various animated performances by Miwa Matreyek, including This World Made Itself, Myth and Infrastructure, and Dreaming of Lucid Living. Myth and Infrastructure premiered at the Global TED Conference in Oxford and all three films went on to various international venues including the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Huff's own live performances have been exhibited in museums such as PS1 MOMA Contemporary, The Seattle Art Museum, Hammer Museum, PICA, and the Rohsska Museet in Gothenburg, Sweden.[11]

Day/Moon and collaborations (2014-present)[edit]

Huff continues to be a member of the group Day/Moon, which is a psychedelic folk group she founded with long-term collaborator Tamala Poljak, of the Los Angeles group Longstocking. The group has also collaborated with Tara Jane O'Neill. Huff has worked with other artists such as Eric Lindley, Becky Stark, David Scott Stone and many others in the Los Angeles scene, and was a member of the Los Angeles Ladies Choir.[11] She has collaborated with Jack Black’s wife Tanya Haden on art, music and puppet shows,[12] and can be seen alongside Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D, promoting their Festival Supreme in a series of shorts directed by Liam Lynch.[13]

Discography[edit]

With Space Ballerinas[edit]

  • 2001: Diamonds EP (YoYo Records)
  • 2001: If Goth Were Pink EP (YoYo Records)

Solo material[edit]

Albums[edit]

Albums by Anna Oxygen, with hidden track listings
Year Album title Release details
2003
  • Released: Jul 22, 2003
  • Label: Cold Crush Records/Dimmak
  • Format: Digital, CD
2006

Singles[edit]

Incomplete list of songs by Anna Oxygen
Year Title Album Release details
2005 "" Single only Self-released (August 22, 2005)
2007 "Play, Kids Compilation" Single only Desoto Records

Guest appearances[edit]

Incomplete list of production credits for Anna Huff[6]
Yr Release title Artist(s) Role
1999 Anthem Nomy Lamm Composer, Keyboards, Vocals (as Huff)
2001 Clothes Your I's Karl Blau Vocals (as Huff)
2001 Blood The Microphones Choir
2003 Mount Eerie The Microphones Composer, Spoken Word, Voices
2003 The Concussive Caress The Blow Beats, Keyboards, Sangbe Drum (as Huff)
2004 Poor Aim: Love Songs The Blow Composer
2004 Mountain Rock Dear Nora Performer
2006 Joyride: Remixes Various Primary artist
2008 The Old Days Feeling Mirah Choir/Chorus (as Huff)
2014 Where Shine New Lights Tara Jane O'Neil Voices (as Huff)

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Discographies
Filmographies

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Anna Huff at Allmusic
  2. ^ a b c "Under Polaris" webpage
  3. ^ a b Anna Huff at IMDB
  4. ^ a b Wilson, MacKenzie. "Anna Oxygen Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2015-01-01. 
  5. ^ a b Biography: Anna Oxygen
  6. ^ a b c "Anna Huff Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved 2015-01-01. 
  7. ^ Wilson, MacKenzie. Anna Oxygen at AllMusic
  8. ^ a b c Phares, Heather (February 21, 2006). "This Is an Exercise Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-12-30. 
  9. ^ Cummings, Ray (February 23, 2006). "This Is an Exercise Review". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 2014-12-30. 
  10. ^ a b Cheng, Scarlet (October 13, 2009). "Cloud Eye Control joins the traditional and futuristic". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-12-30. 
  11. ^ a b "Anna Oxygen Biography". annaoxygen.com/. Retrieved 2015-01-01. 
  12. ^ Myers, Holly (November 3, 2011). "Art review: 'Have You Seen Me' at Las Cienegas Projects". Los Angeles. Retrieved 2014-01-02. 
  13. ^ IFC: Festival Supreme: Fish tacos

External links[edit]

Audio and video
Project pages