Stentorian [album] Hazelle
fabulous Anemo returns with a
album, Stentorian, that
is jam-packed with even more musical
goodies from this Brighton-based
AN EAGERLY-ANTICIPATED ALBUM, Stentorian is currently waiting in
the wings to be released on 13 October (2008) by the South Coast's fantastic
rock-pop band Anemo. And it's not before time. It is the second studio
album from the band and it follows Anemo's critically-acclaimed 2006
UK debut album Slowburn.
Anemo's strength and originality lies in the band's ear for melody and musical
diversity. Stentorian rides a more energetic and aggressive rock edge
than its predecessor, with such well turned out tracks as Fives And Sixes
that was recently featured on the UK Fireworks cover mount CD.
the first single from Stentorian was released in October 2007
the rock anthem Pray it was so phenomenal that it was difficult
to believe that Anemo could successfully follow something so special. Pray
is indeed a magnificent tribute not only to BBC World Affairs Editor
John Simpson, whose brush with 'friendly fire' during the Iraq war inspired
the song, but also to music.
With its unusual Arabic overcast and tremendous vocals, Pray is outstanding
but Stentorian's eleven tracks are all very different and creditable
in their own right and a second single, MusicBox, will also be released
to coincide with the album. MusicBox is an irresistible, melodic jaunt
of musical notes with gorgeous vocals wrapped around them among the best
Beautiful vocal delivery with great lyrics and terrific beats meld to make up
the racy She's Not Me. Exhilarating rock comes with dashing guitar work
and subtle drumming that's Filthy Figure Skater, with its neat
vocal treatment and odd title.
Anemo is fantastic and vocalist Hazelle Woodhurst is a knock-out; with a gutsy
vocal presentation that switches itself in a second to complement every single
track on Stentorian, including the attractive Anyway with its
splendid folk-rock sound that lulls you with its gentle undulating melody and
the great Shipping News.
The final thoughts of a condemned murderess may seem like a strange subject
for a song, but Heaven Is Waiting? is interesting, poignant, creative
and beautifully done. Stentorian finishes on the evocative Still
with its haunting melody pure genius.
name Stentorian comes from Stentor, a legendary Greek herald in the Trojan
War. According to the Iliad, his voice was as loud as that of fifty men
and Hazelle certainly gives it all she's got!
The Anemo line-up alongside Hazelle is her sister Erika (backing vocals); Kingsley
Sage (keyboards); Matt Palmer (guitars); Dan Partington (bass guitar); and Mike
When a classically-trained pianist and established producer, a rock guitarist
and front woman Hazelle Woodhurst whose vocal gymnastics range from crystal-clear
to crowd commanding put their creative resources together the results
are always going to be interesting. Creem magazine came closest to pigeonholing
the band when they described Anemo as "Swirlin' around like a tornado tossed
three-way between Eurythmics, Pretenders and Portishead". Sounds good enough.
The band's slogan should be "Remember the Anemo!" How could you forget…
Anemo's second studio album Stentorian
is released on 13 October (2008) on New York independent label City Canyons
Records. Distribution in the UK is by Pebble Beach Music through Pennacle.
1 Pray | 2 MusicBox | 3 She's Not Me | 4 Filthy Figure
Skater | 5 Anyway | 6 Shipping News | 7 Fives And Sixes
| 8 Throw It Away | 9 Heaven Is Waiting? | 10 Another Side
To The Story | 11 Still
Check out anemo.co.uk, myspace.com/anemomusic
"A little bit rock, a little bit goth but a whole lotta good!" Metal4life.com
"Anemo is fantastic and vocalist Hazelle Woodhurst is a knock-out; with a gutsy
vocal presentation that switches itself in a second to complement every single
track on the amazing Stentorian…" MotorBar
Anemo began life in September 2002 when Kingsley Sage was auditioning singers
for a songwriting and recording project. The results had been universally disappointing
but at the eleventh hour a former actress and talented vocalist called Hazelle
Woodhurst entered the picture.
Hazelle and Kingsley immediately hit it off. They shared a love of different
styles of music and, of course, a good English cup of tea! The two set to work
on penning a number of songs that would later become the basis of the Anemo's
first album. They decided that the project needed a rock edge, and to that end
guitarist Matt Palmer was added to the mix.
After countless evenings at the band's basement studio in Brighton, the three
had amassed an impressive collection of pop-meets-rock-meets-electronica tracks.
At this point, the group took on the name Anemo (from the Greek word Anemos
meaning 'changing forms') to reflect the blend of styles and influences that
was brought to the music.
The strong vocal melodies and distinctive style caught the attention of Trevor
Lloyd, CEO of New York-based independent record label City Canyons. In summer
2005 Anemo signed a three-album record contract with City Canyons.
The trio's debut album Slowburn was met with critical acclaim on both
sides of the Atlantic gaining rave reviews and returning top ten positions
on US college radio. In the UK, the band were championed by BBC6 music as "one
to watch" on the Bruce Dickinson (of Iron Maiden fame) Rock Show and Slowburn
was named "one of the albums of the year" by shakenstir.co.uk. The Anemo live
band has toured throughout the UK and was recognised for its energetic live
performances by winning a Classic Rock Society Best Live Band award in 2006.
Anemo's second studio album, Stentorian, is more focussed towards the
energy and aggression of the band's live performances and the first single from
it is Pray, a song inspired by a news report by BBC war journalist John Simpson.
Pray was originally released in October 2007, partnered by a dance mix
by former Skint Records artiste Indian Ropeman. The new album's second single,
MusicBox, will be released shortly.
Pray has been featured on Bruce Dickinson's BBC rock show and on the
BBC Asian Network for DJ Nihal, who also did a feature interview with the band
for his Music With A Message.
is bright and breezy, sounding
relaxed and enthusiastic as she talks
about herself and her role as lead
vocalist with Anemo. You wonder how
she can sit still for the time we speak as
she is so unstoppable on stage!
ANEMO (from the Greek word Anemos, meaning changing forms) is a talented
Brighton-based band and Hazelle who is also a very accomplished songwriter
is telling me about the background to their brilliantly innovative single
The band is justifiably proud of Pray. They have taken a very direct
approach to the sounds they were determined to create with this song
a song that draws attention to the realities of war. Enter Kingsley Sage, a
keyboard genius and technical wizard who really is, says Hazelle, a wise and
intelligent sage. Not only is he passionate about music, but he is equally enthusiastic
about science and applies it to his life!
Kingsley, says Hazelle, is quite a character. A former public schoolboy, he
absorbs everything like a sponge and is always one step ahead of everyone else.
His brain is active 24/7 and he has the most amazing diplomatic skills
useful when dealing with a band made up of very different, strong-minded characters
who are gifted and artistic. It can be difficult to find common ground, even
when they are all heading in the same direction.
Very eccentric and with a dry sense of humour, Kingsley is the second youngest
of four brothers. He's a one-off. Everyday things don't work for him, but he's
clever enough to turn things to his advantage. He plagued his parents for a
piano and they bought him a keyboard first the piano came later. He is
great, says Hazelle, when it comes to negotiating or fine tuning. He knows exactly
what to say and to whom he needs to talk.
It was Kingsley's suggestion that Anemo should produce a song about John Simpson,
the BBC World Affairs Editor who was mistakenly bombed by a US airplane in 2003
while accompanying a convoy of US Special Forces and Kurdish fighters.
Totally professional, John Simpson ignored his cuts and bruises and shock and
got up to carry on with his job. Pray is a tribute to war correspondents
and also addresses the moral issues of the human sacrifice of war. "People have
become desensitised to it," remarks Hazelle. "There were huge civilian casualties
at that time and it's still happening. It is difficult to imagine what it must
be like in such a volatile situation."
She adds: "Kingsley was so passionate about it. Once he'd infected us with his
enthusiasm he just looked and me and said: 'Over to you, Hazelle!' And that
"We wanted everyone who heard Pray to see through the eyes of the soldiers
and through the eyes of John Simpson. We wanted it to sound as if you were actually
there. You can imagine the troops scattered, utter chaos and cries for
help. You don't have to have a conventional God to pray to in such a situation.
You just pray."
Hearing the emotion in her voice, it is easy to understand the reasons why this
uplifting, powerful and passionate song works so well. It is excellent music
that also has a message and a very poignant one at that and it
comes from a band who believe the world should know how they feel about war.
Hazelle speaks out against war, which she refers to in her song as a "widow
A born singer, Hazelle has music in her blood: her great-grandmother was an
opera singer. No surprise then that she was singing in the school choir at six
and already playing in a band by the time she was 15. In her late teens she
became a drummer but, with a degree in theatre studies, she decided to try acting.
Hazelle signed with 2020 Casting in London as an extra and appeared on television
in Invasion Earth as a member of a team of scientists [where was Kingsley?
Ed], The Bill and Soldier, Soldier. She has also appeared
in the films Shakes-peare in Love and Eyes Wide Shut. Singing
is her first love although, she says, she'd rather like to act again at some
time. She owes her slim and supple body to kickboxing workouts which has stood
her in good stead for her on-stage gymnastics!
Musically, Hazelle's biggest influence was her father an R 'n' B guitarist
who played with Heinz and also Johnnie Kidd and The Pirates. When Hazelle was
18, her mother had a heart attack and died, aged just 42. The high standards
Hazelle works to are, in part, because she wanted her mother, as well as her
father, to be proud of her.
Hazelle's father was a very inspirational part of her music education and she
grew up listening to rock 'n' roll and original blues. Artistes such as Nazareth,
Zeppelin, Robert Cray, Jeff Healey, John Lee Hooker, Stevie Wonder, Maggie Bell,
Janis Joplin and The Black Crowes have all been major influences on her work.
She believes that "albums should take you on a journey" and she loves the raw
kind of music that she describes as being "like reining in a tiger; wild and
powerful, haunting yet melodic". Not many female vocalists are singing proper
rock, Hazelle points out, and Anemo's brand of rock-ballad-folk-blues-influenced
music is quite unique.
Four years ago Hazelle's flatmate was going for interviews with bands and he
suggested that she should ring Kingsley Sage, who was looking for a female vocalist
and songwriter. Her twenty-minute interview turned into three hours and
twelve months later Anemo was born.
Having worked with other musicians whom, she says, "were not singing from the
same page", it is all the more important to Hazelle that the band members are
Anemo has been hard at work, producing their latest album which they hope to
get finished and released by March (2008). "Our music," says Hazelle,
"has lots of electronica and loops. It's quite rootsy and raw, with a live
sound very exposed, very vulnerable and unique in its style with double
bass and cello influences."
Anemo has been signed for two years now but, says Hazelle, "with fame comes
pressure you have to deliver; have to write songs. You can't be complacent.
We are particularly well received in America, where they love indie bands."
Hazelle and Kingsley were also interviewed by DJ Nehal on the Music With
A Message section of BBC Radio Asian Network in October and Anemo has filmed
their first music video (produced by Fractured Films) for Pray. "It's
very raw," says Hazelle, "with a definitive narrative. We had free rein and
have been quite indulgent. Although we have to con-form, we don't have to conform
too much. It is an interesting journey for us."
Hazelle admits that she wants everything to happen yesterday and she can be
blunt if she thinks she's not being listened to. Things can get a bit fraught
within the band. Guitarist Matt Palmer, a rock fan and surfer from Devon who
is very much part of the writing team, can be "a bit sparky" and nerves can
be frazzled. Then Kingsley comes into his own with his calm, diplomatic way
of sorting things out.
Two years ago, Hazelle's sister Erika joined Anemo on backing vocals. Before
that Hazelle did pre-recorded loops and harmonies because she couldn't sing
both those and lead vocals live. Erika works hard at The Home Office and it's
her release to get up on stage. At 27, she is six years younger than Hazelle
and she's a fantastic manager, says Hazelle. "Sometimes bossy, sometimes
calm; but always passionate.
"Our drummer, Mike Kelly," she laughs, "is very verbal and full on. He's one
of the best drummers I've ever worked with and he's extremely visual."
They have, she tells me, great fun on the road. Sparks sometimes fly but they
take it all in their stride. They once got a flat tyre when they hit the petrol
pump kerb in a garage. One of them tried to jump ship as he only lived a short
walk away, but as they follow the motto 'the band that plays together, stays
together' they refused to let him leave!
Another time, they got caught in heavy traffic on their way to a gig and, in
the true spirit of rock 'n' roll, switched on the overhead lights of their former
motorway maintenance van to drive a short way down the hard shoulder to their
turn-off. "Needs must," quips Hazelle, "as the devil drives." But she insists
they would never make a habit of it.
Hazelle also told me that they once tried to board an easyJet flight to Prague
although easyJet didn't fly to Prague and then had great difficulty
trying to retrieve their luggage!
And the future? Hot favourite for a second single release from their first album
(Slowburn) is 5s and 6s, which is about drug addiction, but Hazelle
is also keen on Fall Out Renegade.
Anemo will soon be announcing the dates of their forthcoming tour in the States.
Watch this space!
Pray was released on 15 October 2007.
Check out anemo.co.uk, myspace.com/anemomusic
evocative that was the
first thing that came into my head
listening to rock band Anemos Pray...
INSTANTLY YOU THINK OF EASTERN countries and the spiritual awakening of the
mu'addin calling the faithful for prayer. But it is also reminiscent
of a Sixties rock sound; with remarkable vocals and delightful melodies. All
of this, and an indulgent, sparkling new sound thrown in for good measure.
If that sounds confusing, it really is something you have to listen to in order
to appreciate this uplifting, emotional, powerful and passionate song that was
inspired by the true story of John Simpson the BBC World Affairs Editor
who was accompanying a convoy of US Special Forces and Kurdish fighters when
they were mistakenly bombed by the Americans in 2003.
The energy of the rock anthem Pray bursts through the speakers, instantly
making an impact. Anemo has endowed their music with the special qualities that
reflect the song as a tribute to all those who have died reporting the reality
of war when you are in a war zone in a strange country and away from
all that is familiar to you, even atheists might find themselves praying to
Pray raises questions about war, morality and sacrifice. Front woman
Hazelle Woodhurst sings: "Is this what democracy means" and "Now I just point
the camera where people want to see, as war takes centre stage as a widow machine"
and she sings with surprising empathy given that she is only able to
imagine what John Simpson must have seen that day.
Brighton-based Anemo plays live as a seven-piece rock band, fronted by two dynamic
and imposing female vocalists: lead singer Hazelle and sister Erika on backing
vocals. Ameno is anything but an average band and that becomes clear
when you learn that band members are made up of a kick boxer, actress, sky diver,
motor cyclist, surfer, Doctor of Oceanography and a Doctor of Artificial Intelligence!
As mentioned, the word Anemo derives from the Greek word Anemos, meaning
changing forms. And that is exactly what has happened since the release of their
first, critically-acclaimed, City Canyons-released album Slowburn. The
distorted bass, driving drum beat and grinding guitars of Pray set the
tone for the rest of the album, which has a darker sound than Anemo's previous
release. "With this record we wanted a sound that was more focused towards the
energy and aggression of our live set," said keyboard player Kingsley Sage.
Inspired rock band Anemo are back: their new single Pray (released on
15 October 2007) on independent New York-based international label Canyons Records,
pays tribute to the people who died while bringing to the world the news from
the front line.
"Anemo are one to watch" Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) BBC6 Music
"Great vocals, a driving beat and wonderful hooks" Getreadytorock.com
"Beautiful melodies and wonderful tuneful vocals. Anemo create an original,
Check out anemo.co.uk, myspace.com/anemomusic