The Annabel Analysis

Robert Checkal

‘Each and Everyone’ CD release aims to make connections

Daniel R. Doherty | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

The title of Annabel’s first full-length CD, “Each and Everyone,” is a fitting aspect of the Annabel way of life. After multiple tours, three demos and national attention, the band has matured both musically and intellectually, making national links along the way that seem to implicate the interwoven connectivity of humanity.


Standing before a massive, three-floor, tan building with a black triangular prism-shaped overhang, the members of Kent-based band Annabel looked up to read the words “Durty Nelly’s” in white before entering their destination. Inside, brick walls collided with wooden fixtures to create the Irish pub feel for which the Gainesville, Fla., establishment is well known for. The trio set up the stage with its equipment as participants for a three day Gainesville music festival known simply as “The Fest.”

Getting there proved to be an interesting time, as the bandmates drove 18 hours for the weekend spanning from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. More than 250 bands played 10 venues for an all-out music extravaganza. As Annabel started to tune and prep their instruments, a huge crowd from “The Venue” across the street began emptying out of the establishment’s doors.

Real quick:

“Each and Everyone” CD Release Party

Annabel with Delay and See Urchin

The Rathskeller

Saturday, Feb. 21 at 9 p.m.

Free for KSU students/ $2 for non-students

“We played across the street from the Dillinger Four and when they were done playing, everyone from their show came to ours,” lead singer and guitarist Ben Hendricks said.

After playing to a packed house and checking out a few more shows, the band was ready to crash.

“We slept in the van the whole weekend,” drummer and backup vocalist Andy Hendricks said.

“I slept better in the van than I do in my own bed,” Ben laughed.

Bassist and backup vocalist Scotty Moses remembers having to wake up in the middle of the night because it was so cold. But once they were rested, they conversed with locals and other bands – a unique trait of the band.

“I feel lucky to be able to tour and meet people,” Ben said. “The interesting thing is that we’ll say we’re from Kent and other people will recognize it,x and we’ll find ways we relate. It’s like we’re all connected somehow.”

Sleeping Lions

As with any band, the early stages of Annabel’s career were precarious. A few lineup changes and a few changes in musical inclination were spiced into the members’ changing lives. Transitioning from high school to college was a big change for all three current members and breaks from the band were inevitable amidst conflicting responsibilities. The band has maintained composure in one form or another and the third of their EPs, “Now That We’re Alive,” distinguishes the band’s current module and highlights their ambient sound.

“After every EP we’ve put out, we’ve basically changed direction,” Ben said.

The band has had three lineup changes and uniquely enough, each lineup has changed after the release of a new EP. The current module, however, has maintained its lineup but has gained a new direction in its sound. After the release of “Now That We’re Alive,” the band tried to move on with new material. But as the EP kept gaining attention, they struggled. Moses’ transition from high school to college turned into a break for the band and an uncertain future faced Annabel.

Moses eventually acclimated to his new schedule and once they re-established themselves, the members of Annabel wrote enough new music to create an album.

“We worked on it over the summer,” Ben said. “What we didn’t realize was how long the process would take for the album to be fully realized. It took a month to track it, a month-and-a-half to mix it, a month to master it, a month for art, and it’s still being manufactured.”

People and Places

Despite the long process of making their first album, the band is glad the process is in its final stage.

“It was exciting, but also stressful,” Andy said.

“Stressful because once we’re done recording, it’s in other people’s hands,” Ben added.

The opportunity to influence the “do-it-yourself” scene with a label debut is something Annabel said they feel lucky to be a part of. Additionally, the benefits of creating the CD professionally is something the band utilized.

“These songs are more fully-realized because we were able to do things better,” Moses said.

“We took it up a notch and emphasized all aspects of our game,” Ben finished. “It’s exactly how I’d want our first full-length to sound. All of the songs really fit together.”

Although the band has matured, they’re ironically finding themselves right back where they started.

“The show is exactly the same day and same place as our first show four years ago,” Ben said of the upcoming CD release show at the Rathskeller.

The band utilized its philosophy of connecting with others to create a bill involving two bands that Moses said they feel is somewhere in between of in terms of sound.

The band describes its music as being in the vein of indie post-punk and “do-it-yourself” but its main focus is driven to impact the individual. The connections the band makes with people and bands on a national level are in no way compared to how the bandmates feel about influencing people musically on an individual level. The band said its new release is a tie-in of all aspects of their dynamic career until now and as it prepares for Saturday’s show, an overwhelming sense of accomplishment surrounds it.

Contact all reporter Robert Checkal at [email protected].