Anaïs Mitchell

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Anaïs Mitchell
Anais Mitchell New Bedford.jpg
Anaïs Mitchell at the New Bedford Summerfest
July 4, 2010
Background information
Born (1981-03-26) March 26, 1981 (age 37)
Origin Montpelier, Vermont, U.S.
Genres Indie Folk, Americana, Country Folk
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Guitar, piano, vocals
Years active 2002–present
Labels Righteous Babe Records (2007–2012)
Wilderland Record (2012–present)
Website anaismitchell.com

Anaïs Mitchell (/ɑːˈns/; born March 26, 1981) is an American singer-songwriter and musician.[1] Mitchell has released six albums, including Hadestown (2010), Young Man in America (2012)[2][3] and Child Ballads (2013). [4] She developed Hadestown (together with director Rachel Chavkin) into a stage show which received its US debut at New York Theatre Workshop in summer 2016 [5], and its Canadian debut at the Citadel Theatre, Edmonton the following year.[6] In 2018 it was announced that the show would open at London's National Theatre later in the year before transferring to Broadway.[7]

Early life[edit]

Mitchell's father is a novelist and college professor and named her after author Anaïs Nin.[8] She grew up on a farm in Addison County, Vermont, and after traveling to the Middle East, Europe and Latin America as a child, she attended Middlebury College.[9][10]

Career[edit]

Having begun writing her first songs at the age of 17, Mitchell won the New Folk award in 2003 at the Kerrville Folk Festival.[11] Her album Hymns for the Exiled was released on Chicago's Waterbug Records label in 2004.[12] This recording attracted the attention of singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco, who signed her to the Righteous Babe Records label.[10]

In 2006 Mitchell debuted a draft of her "folk opera" Hadestown, which she wrote in collaboration with arranger Michael Chorney and director Ben T. Matchstick.[13] A revised version of Hadestown was staged in 2007. Her third album, The Brightness, was released that same year on Righteous Babe Records.[14]

Her album Hadestown, produced by Todd Sickafoose, was released in spring 2010 to favorable reviews.[15][16] Described as "the story of Orpheus and Eurydice set in post-apocalyptic Depression-era America,[17] the album includes guest appearances by Ani DiFranco, Greg Brown, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Ben Knox Miller of The Low Anthem, and The Haden Triplets (Petra, Rachel, and Tanya Haden).[18]

Mitchell continued quietly working on a stage version of Hadestown while also writing and recording new material. In early 2012, she released Young Man in America on Wilderland Records.[19][20] Mitchell opened the North American leg of Bon Iver's autumn 2012 tour, which included two sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall.[21] The album was largely praised by critics as "genre-defining" and her "second consecutive masterpiece." [22]

In late 2012, Mitchell completed recording seven songs from the collection of Child Ballads, compiled by Francis James Child, with fellow musician Jefferson Hamer[23]. The album, produced by Gary Paczosa, was released in February 2013,[24] winning a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Traditional Song.[25] This was followed in 2014 by xoa, for which Mitchell re-recorded a number of her older songs using only guitar and vocal. This stripped back album included some songs from Hadestown which were recorded for the first time in Mitchell's own voice, as well as three brand new songs.

In summer 2016, the newly expanded theatrical version of Hadestown opened at New York Theatre Workshop[26] with Vogue magazine predicting that "Hadestown will be your next musical theatre obsession".[27] The following year, it received its Canadian premiere at The Citadel Theatre, Edmonton, and in April 2018, London's National Theatre announced that it would present a three month run during the winter ahead of the show's Broadway transfer[28].

Reception[edit]

Mitchell has received favorable reviews on her musical style, sound and performance. An article in Acoustic Guitar magazine calls Mitchell "fearlessly emotive" and compares her to Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Gillian Welch.[29] The UK's Independent newspaper called her "the most engaging, and in some ways, most original artist currently working in the field of new American folk music"[30] The New York Times noted that "Ms Mitchell's songs address contemporary angst with uncanny vision" and called her "a formidable songwriting talent".[31]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Collaborations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reges, Margaret. "Anaïs Mitchell - Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-15. 
  2. ^ Anais Mitchell: 'I like to cry' March 8, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  3. ^ Zimmerman, Peter (September 20, 2011). "Anaïs Mitchell: Slim's, San Francisco, CA 07/06/2011 -". Glide Magazine. Archived from the original on September 24, 2011. Retrieved 2016-10-15. 
  4. ^ Hughes, Rob (2013-03-05). "Anais Mitchell, interview". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-04-25. 
  5. ^ "NYTW / Hadestown". NYTW. Retrieved 2018-04-25. 
  6. ^ Paulson, Michael (2017-12-11). "An Unexpected New Stop on the Road to Broadway: Edmonton". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-25. 
  7. ^ "The Underworld Will Stop in London en Route to Broadway". The New York Times. 2018-04-19. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-25. 
  8. ^ "Anais Mitchell interview". Wears the Trousers. 2007-11-15. Archived from the original on 2011-09-17. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  9. ^ "B-Sides: Q&A with Anaïs Mitchell". Bitch Magazine. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "AnaisMitchell.com". 2011-06-21. Archived from the original on June 21, 2011. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  11. ^ "Anais Mitchell | Freight & Salvage". www.thefreight.org. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  12. ^ "Anaïs Mitchell - Hymns For The Exiled". Discogs. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  13. ^ "Hadestown by Anaïs Mitchell" December 7, 2006 by Megan James Addison County Independent.
  14. ^ "oh, the places she's gone! Anaïs Mitchell's Righteous Babe Records' debut the brightness is poetry in motion. in stores February 13, 2007." Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. press release Righteous Babe Records.
  15. ^ Neil Spencer (2010-04-25). "Anais Mitchell: Hadestown". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  16. ^ James Skinner. "Album Review: Anaïs Mitchell - Hadestown". DrownedInSound. 
  17. ^ "Mitchell,Anais - Hadestown". Ladyslipper Music. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "Anais Mitchell playing shows, releasing 'Hadestown' - concept album w/ Justin Vernon, Greg Brown, Hadens, more". BrooklynVegan. 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  19. ^ (Feb 2012) American Original More From This Weeks Qa With Anais Mitchell.
  20. ^ "Bon Iver Covers Anaïs Mitchell 'Coming Down' live on Australian radio" Pitchfork's Watch: section, by Jenn Pelly; March 16, 2012.
  21. ^ "Bon Iver announces gigs w/ Anais Mitchell, two more Radio City Music Hall shows (updated tour dates)" BrooklynVegan; June 25, 2012.
  22. ^ "Reviews for Young Man In America by Anaïs Mitchell - Metacritic". Metacritic. 
  23. ^ Thomson, Graeme (2013-02-08). "Anaïs Mitchell on Child Ballads: 'They're so beautiful, so strange and weird. That's the poetry of it'". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-04-25. 
  24. ^ New album, Child Ballads, out early 2013 Archived 2016-03-25 at the Wayback Machine. December 11, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  25. ^ "2014, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - Winners - BBC Radio 2". BBC. Retrieved 2018-04-25. 
  26. ^ "NYTW / Hadestown". 
  27. ^ "Hadestown Will Be Your Next Musical Theater Obsession". Vogue. Retrieved 2018-04-25. 
  28. ^ Paulson, Michael (2018-04-19). "The Underworld Will Stop in London en Route to Broadway". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-25. 
  29. ^ "Family politics, love, and music infuse the stunning Hymns for the Exiled. Vermont-based singer-songwriter details her new album." by Anand Nayak Songcraft: Anais Mitchell Acoustic Guitar April 2005, No. 148.
  30. ^ "The Critics: Sounds of 2012". The Independent. 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2018-04-25. 
  31. ^ Holden, Stephen (2016-03-18). "Review: Anais Mitchell Sings Her Own Work at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-25. 

External links[edit]