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 Folk, Indie folk
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Guitar, piano, vocals
Years active 2002–present
Labels Righteous Babe Records (2007–2012)
Wilderland Record (2012–present)

Anaïs Mitchell (/ɑːˈns/; born March 26, 1981) is an American singer-songwriter and musician.[1] Mitchell has released five albums, including Hadestown (2010) and Young Man in America (2012).[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Mitchell's father is a novelist and college professor and named her after author Anaïs Nin.[4] 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.[5][6]


Having begun writing her first songs at the age of 17, Mitchell recorded her debut album The Song They Sang When Rome Fell in a single afternoon in 2002.[4]

In 2003 Mitchell won the New Folk award at the Kerrville Folk Festival.[7] Her album Hymns for the Exiled was released on Chicago's Waterbug Records label in 2004.[8] This recording attracted the attention of singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco, who signed her to the Righteous Babe Records label.[6]

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.[9] A revised version of Hadestown was staged in 2007. Her third album, The Brightness, was released that same year on Righteous Babe Records.[10] In 2008 Mitchell was nominated for the Contemporary Artist category of the third annual Folk Alliance awards show.[11] In September of that same year, Righteous Babe Records released country e.p., a split vinyl/CD EP Mitchell recorded with fellow musician Rachel Ries.[12]

In April 2009, Mitchell appeared on the song "Miss Independence" on Myra Flynn's album Crooked Measures, and the song "Sadly" on Gregory Douglass's album Battler.[13][14]

Her album Hadestown was released in spring 2010 to favorable reviews.[15][16] Her manager, Slim Moon, described it 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]

In early 2012, Mitchell released her album Young Man in America on her 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. The album, produced by Gary Paczosa, was released in February 2013.[23]

In early 2016, Hadestown was made into a musical by the New York Theatre Workshop[24]


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.[25] A review in No Depression magazine describes Mitchell as "girlishly sprite and brimming with innocence" and says that she "brings to mind the hippie-throwback charm of Victoria Williams and "80's pop star Cyndi Lauper".[26] Margaret Reges of Allmusic describes Mitchell as having "the earthiness of Shawn Colvin, the child-like bite of Joanna Newsom, and the urban jumpiness of Ani DiFranco."[27]


Studio albums[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. ^ a b "Anais Mitchell interview". Wears the Trousers. 2007-11-15. Archived from the original on 2011-09-17. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  5. ^ "B-Sides: Q&A with Anaïs Mitchell". Bitch Magazine. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "". 2011-06-21. Archived from the original on June 21, 2011. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  7. ^ "Anais Mitchell | Freight & Salvage". Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  8. ^ "Anaïs Mitchell - Hymns For The Exiled". Discogs. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  9. ^ "Hadestown by Anaïs Mitchell" December 7, 2006 by Megan James Addison County Independent.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "Ellen Jewell, Uncle Earl highlight Folk Alliance award nominees"[permanent dead link] News You Should Note posted February 4, 2008 No Depression.
  12. ^ Country E.P. – Anais Mitchell Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  13. ^ "Interview With Slim Moon", HitQuarters, 13 April 2009.
  14. ^ Battler – Gregory Douglass Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  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. ^ New album, Child Ballads, out early 2013 Archived 2016-03-25 at the Wayback Machine. December 11, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  24. ^ "NYTW / Hadestown". 
  25. ^ "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.
  26. ^ Russell Hall (2007). "Anais Mitchell: Balthazar, Clea... and me". No Depression Magazine (68). Archived from the original on 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  27. ^ Margaret Reges. "review". Retrieved 2013-04-29. 

External links[edit]