“We're used to going out on these barren self-booked tours and playing for a few stragglers here and there,” says singer/songwriter/guitarist/pianist (you'll find that each member is credited with an entire band's worth of instruments in Anathallo's line-up) Matt Joynt. The group, which consists of Joynt, Jeremiah Johnson on drums, Bret Wallin on trombone and auxiliary percussion, Daniel Bracken on guitar and laptop, Seth Walker on bass, Erica Froman on piano and vocals, and Andrew Dost on flugelhorn/piano/vocals, is attempting to take everything in stride.

“We'd know if things were getting too big if any members started displaying an over-inflated sense of importance,” says Joynt. “We're all very down-to-earth, so I don't see that becoming an issue.”


Anathallo got its start six years ago in a slightly different formation, playing a more traditional style of rock than the eclectic freak-folk it employs now. That's not to say the band has ever been in bed with convention, but the current incarnation has employed every musical device from French horn to balloons passed out to the audience and popped at appointed times for extra percussion.

“The unifying aspect of everything we've done is that it has always been orchestral,” Joynt says. “A lot of our development is a product of being together for six years and how it has given us time to develop into a sound that really works for us.”

The sound of “Floating World,” an album loosely based on coming to terms with and trying to understand the ambiguities of life in other cultures, has apparently been one that has worked for a lot of listeners as well. The band's sometimes meandering, sometimes clamoring take on atmospheric rock has earned it rave reviews from major music publications as well as comparisons to acts like Stereolab, the Arcade Fire and Sufjan Stevens.

At this point, there is no ceiling on where the Michigan band could end up in the indie rock pantheon, but dealing with potential acclaim is not on any of the members' to-do lists.

“We're focused on trying to continue writing and being a completely collaborative group where everyone's ideas can be utilized,” Joynt notes. “We just want to keep taking risks and making music that has the potential to surprise people and keep them off guard.”

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