Trainwreck’d Society’s Person of 2012: Anna-Lynne Williams [Exclusive]

Anna-Lynne1In 2011, Anna-Lynne Williams started to shake things up a bit in the independent music world, yet again.  Announcing the start up of her very own label, Saint Loup Records, meant a whole new beginning for one of the greatest voices and musicians in the business.  Sadly this would mean the demise of the well received and praised duo of Anna-Lynne and Matt Brown known as Trespassers William.  But where TW left off, Anna-Lynne did not fail to continue on sharing your amazing vocals and guitar playing, and now label running, gifts with the world.  Even before the TW break up, she released two amazing albums on Saint Loup Records, both of which landed in the top ten of our very own Top 37 1/2 Albums of 2011.  2011 say the release of Sergius Gregory’s Sounds Like People, and Lotte Kestner (Anna-Lynne’s solo efforts) collection of incredibly reworked cover songs aptly titled Stolen.  And it was with this intensity, despite the loss of a classic indie duo, that Anna-Lynne Williams would see another year filled with a multitude of success, despite what could have been some serious set backs.
Anna-Lynne Williams suffered, and continues to suffer, from a very serious wrist injury.  As you could rightfully guess, a wrist injury can very well be one of the most damaging injuries a musician could ever encounter.  So what does one do?  Simply give up?  Never.  Not if you are Anna-Lynne Williams.  If you are anything like her, you fight back.  Although her guitar playing abilities were fractured (pun intended), she still managed to thrive.  She continued to record.  A lot!  Loading up her Bandcamp page and website with an abundance of even more cover tracks beyond what we heard on Stolen.  Another batch of solo versions of great Trespassers William tunes.  Saint Marie Records also dropped a nice little gem for TW fans with the release of a collection of b-sides and unreleased tracks on an album entitled, Cast, leaving us with one last glimpse of The Anna-Lynne and Matt duo that was.  All of this without mentioning the abundance of guest appearances she has made with the likes of Ghosts I’ve Met, Minotaur Shock, indie hip hop sensations like Sadistik and Bodi, and many many more.  And then we have…..Ormonde.
When I heard that Anna-Lynne Williams would be teaming up with the boy from Denton Texas, Robert Gomez, who I had been listening to for years, I knew there was no way this could go wrong.  And with busted up hand and all, Anna-Lynne took herself down to Texas, recorded an amazing record, showcased it at SXSW, took the show on the European trail throughout the summer of 2012, and released the number one album of 2012.  Her amazing sultry vocals tag teamed with Gomez’s singularly special guitar work is definitely one of the finest duos since, well, Trespassers William.  So, while a simpler being would have given up, Anna-Lynne was out there making friends, and making things happen.
2012 was indeed a great year for Anna-Lynne Williams, but it was definitely an even better year for her fans.  And isn’t that what being an entertainer is all about?  Sure it is a personal vendetta to create exactly what you need to say, to free your soul or even to enlighten it.  But, c’mon, you need an audience.  And she definitely has that.  Case in point, after announcing that fans will be lucky enough to hear her new album in the first couple months of 2013 via Saint Marie Records, Anna-Lynne sidelined that announcement with a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to produce a companion EP on her very own label.  What was thought to be a campaign spanning weeks to fully fund, took less than 24 hours.  Fans went crazy, and Anna-Lynne left the campaign running as a means of pre-ordering the EP, and also getting some great extra goodies along the way that were mostly handcrafted by her herself, and nearly tripled the original amount of the campaign.  A sincere gesture from those who love Lotte Kestner, Ormonde, and whatever this goddess of the indie world would like to sing to them.  That being said, it appears as though the sky is the limit for whatever Anna-Lynne Williams shall do in the upcoming year.  Her third Lotte Kestner album is set to drop in a couple of weeks, and it promises to be her best work to date.
But as we did for last year’s list, we thought it was better to get in touch with a few of Anna-Lynne’s friends to ask them the simple question:  Why do you believe Anna-Lynne Williams deserves this nomination?  Most of the responses were obvious, which can only be considered a good thing.  So check out what some of those closest to Anna-Lynne had to say, and please join me in re-welcoming Anna-Lynne Williams to the Trainwreck’d family once again, as the Trainwreck’d Society’s Person of 2012.

And now some words from……..

Kevin Long

Kevin Long

Anna-Lynne is a great conversationalist, very knowledgable and passionate about music, having been in the industry for quite some time, worked at record stores, etc. She is well-read and well versed in film and art of all sorts. Despite the adoration of fans around the globe she remains a very humble, modest and friendly person in real life. She is rather unassuming in the Seattle music scene despite having been around here for quite some time, but people are getting to know her a lot more recently from what I gather. I’ve had the pleasure of playing an Elliott Smith tribute (we played Pitseleh together), as well as a few house shows in the greater Seattle-ish area, and she is supposed to accompany me for at least one song this friday at my person biggest show ever, opening for Damien Jurado at Cathedral here in Seattle, projected to be sold out with 800 seats. You are probably aware of her many collaborations with various artists (chemical brothers, delirium, the list goes on). All I can say is.. there are more of those kinds of things in the works .. I think I may be privy to tidbits which I cannot share, but indeed people are still reaching out her to lend her talents, which is no surprise!

Sam Watts (Ghost I’ve Met)

Sam Watts

Anna-Lynne and I sing in a band together called Ghosts I’ve Met. We recently recorded a new Ep. Together that will be out next month which is called “The Leveling Storm” Anna-Lynne sang multiple vocal tracks on the Ep.I believe Anna-Lynne deserves this honor for numerous reasons but what I admire most about her is her work ethic. I have never met any one who has released so much quality music. I am constantly impressed by her ability to change and grow as a songwriter and as a singer. She has been a serious inspiration to me as an artist and as a friend.


Daniel Blue

Daniel BlueAnna Lynne and I worked together for the first time on my first record. she sang harmonies on a track called “Wait For me” by Motopony. from there we began to write songs together and in cahoots, I’ve been on one of her records as well, and she comes out to sing with me now and again when I perform “Wait For Me” live.  She is worthy of the nomination because despite her wrist issues, she remains one of the hardest working self-produced artists that i know in seattle. she is tenacious and dedicated to pure and beautiful expression.


Matthew Brown (The Soft Hills, Trespassers William)

Matthew BrownI’ve worked for over 15 years with Anna-Lynne as a founding member of Trespassers William. She is worthy of the nomination for many reasons: she’s a talented songwriter with a one of a kind, gorgeous voice, she’s one of the hardest working musicians I’ve ever known and a generous, humble and thoughtful person on top of all that.


Alexander Hallett (hip hop artist, Bodi)

Alexander HalletAnna-Lynne and I are friends, artistic collaborators, and share books and music with one another. We worked together on my upcoming album, The Fall of Atlas. She is on the intro track, “Prologue”, which is one of my favorite tracks I’ve ever made (and also some of my favorite work I’ve heard from her), as well as singing with me on the chorus of “Anagnorisis”, one of the album’s interludes.  She’s most definitely worthy of the nomination, largely due to the fact she is passionate about her work, incredibly talented, caring, giving, professional, prolific, and humble.


Sergius Gregory

Sergius GregoryI have worked with Anna-Lynne since 2007 when I was living in Alaska and we were mutual fans of one another. She became so convinced that my songs needed to be released that she started a record label (Saint-Loup) to released them. We’ve performed together in Seattle numerous times and she has become a great friend. I am eternally grateful for all of her support and will support her any way I can.  She is absolutely worthy of this nomination. She is a brilliant artist and has a uniquely beautiful voice. She works hard and supports other artists and is a warm, sweet person.

Anomie Belle

Anomie BelleAnna-Lynne is a friend, and we have collaborated many times over the past five years. She sang guest vocals on both of my first two LPs and toured my first album with me. I’ve contributed strings and piano to both her solo recordings, and to those of Trespassers William as well.  Anna-Lynne is always busy with new projects and collaborations, to which she brings her beautifully haunting and unique vocal style, and her delicately honed abilities as a songwriter. She is kind, honest, knowledgeable, professional and generous. The number of collaborators she’s had over the past decade speaks to both her talents and to what a pleasure she is to work with.

Minotaur Shock

Minotaur ShockA few years ago, I contacted Anna-Lynne on Myspace after reading that she was a fan of my music. Coincidentally, I was a fan of Trespassers William, so I just sent a message saying hi. We had an email exchange and ended up collaborating (well, collaborating via the internet!). I remixed a Trespassers William track and she sang on one of my tracks.

Although I’ve never met Anna-Lynne in person, or even spoken to her, she is one of the most inspiring musicians I’m in contact with. Being a musician is tough these days – I have a full time day job, 2 kids and ageing bones, and there never seems to be time for music. Anna-Lynne seems to be constantly creative, taking the bull by the horns and ‘getting on with it’ in a way that just spurs me on. Even with her hand injury, which must be terrible considering her obvious love of playing the guitar, she managed to stay positive and creative. Although she probably doesn’t even realise – I’ve never thought to tell her – her attitude towards creating and performing is a constant inspiration to me (and probably a lot of people who she’s connected with). Whenever I hit a creative block, or feel that there are not enough hours in the day, I will have a look at what Anna-Lynne’s been up to and it forces me to stop moaning about my problems and just get on with it. So I’d like to thank her, and totally think she deserves this award.

Robert Gomez

Robet GomezI met Anna-Lynne during a recording session with John Grant (Bella Union). We hung out briefly. Eventually, I found myself in Seattle a few months later and by that point I had become familiar with her solo work and was really taken with it. Her album, China Mountain, literally brought me to tears. While in Seattle we met up to watch a band I had gone up there to see and she invited me to Portland to see her show. After some road trip bonding I asked her if she might want to make a record with me in the west Texas dessert, she accepted, and we started Ormonde.

Robert Deeble

Robert DeebleAnna-Lynne and I shared the same stomping grounds in Southern California, I can’t remember how we were originally introduced but she, TW and I all shared gigs a lot around Long Beach, LA and Orange County in our younger years.

We both eventually moved to the Pacific Northwest and have stayed in touch. Most recently Anna lent her haunting vocals to one of the singles off my latest record. Despite knowing each other for 12 years it was the first time we had worked together on a record .  One of the most frightening things an artist may ever go through is developing a physical limitation that threatens to undermine the sense of who they are. Anna’s struggle with her hands is something I can identify with as I mysteriously lost function in both of mine that forced me to stop playing guitar or even writing letters for over a year. Its times like this that can cause a lot of panic in your own identity. I have appreciated how Anna, the “mop top firl from Trespassers who strums a guitar in her lap, has managed to adjust in order to remain artistically keene to who she is. Adaptation has become an honorable quality in Anna… I hope her hands will heal as mine did but I am impressed at how she has made good use of her talent in the mean time.

Cody Foster (hip hop artist, Sadistik)

Cody FosterAnna-Lynne and I have been good friends for a couple of years now, and we’ve collaborated on a handful of songs. She’s on my upcoming album a few times and we’ve shot some music videos and played shows together. We’ve also collaborated on Mexican food and cocktails on the side.

It’s no secret that Anna-Lynne is one of my favorite singers in the world. I was a fan before I was a friend, and for my two cents, I can’t name a female’s voice that I listen to more often than hers. She has a calming fragility to her music that I love. Besides her talents, I think this year would be especially suiting for her to receive an award since it’s been such a trying year for her. I’ve witnessed some of her struggles with her health first hand and how frustrated it made her, but I also got to see her stay productive and inspired. When she couldn’t physically play guitar anymore, she wrote and released a poetry book instead. Even after a year of health setbacks, the breakup of her band Trespassers William, and other obstacles, she’s stayed very diligent and made an album that I’m in love with (which you’ll hear in a few months). I think that’s really impressive, personally.

Cody Foster2

She has had a prolific year and indeed has over come so many difficulties, both physically and emotionally. She has undoubtedly shown she can bring the midas touch to anything she does; a cover song or a collaboration or a solo effort or even a book poetry. And she does all this mostly on her own. She is a true independent, tireless and inspired artist of the highest order whom, in 2012, gave us her best work to date.

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

2 Responses to Trainwreck’d Society’s Person of 2012: Anna-Lynne Williams [Exclusive]

  1. Pingback: Trainwreck’d Society’s Top 37 1/2 Albums of 2014 [Exclusive] | Trainwreck'd Society

  2. Pingback: Two Years of Trainwreck’d [Exclusive!] | Train Wreck'd Society

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