Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Welcome to the Machine: An interview with Bachelorette

Bachelorette is the brainchild of songwriter and musician Annabel Alpers. Since 2005, Alpers stunned the psychedelic electro-pop world with her poignant vocals coupled with the intricate and surprising sounds that come out of her computer. Bachelorette has released three CDs and two full albums, the most recent being “My Electric Family,” released in 2009. Singing about everything from relationships with guys to relationships with machines, Bachelorette has toured with the biggest names in electronic music including Animal Collective and Beach House, and her own critical praise has been impressive to say the least. Pitchfork magazine has called her music “delicious, even ecstatic” and Mojo Magazine has dubbed her vocals to be “the female equivalent of Syd Barrett…A real treasure.” Street catches up with her on her career, her songwriting, and her performances in preparation for Saturday’s show at Terrace.

Q: Can you describe your music in three words?

A: Psychedelic, computer, folk.

Q: If you could have a conversation with any musician alive or dead who would it be?

A: John Lennon

Q: Where do you get the inspiration for your songs? What are they about?

A: I just write about what I’m think about or stuff that’s bugging me, and often that might be about guys. Otherwise I write about stuff that I’m interested in or what I’ve been reading about-general human interactions with each other, relationships with each other, and relationships between humans and machines or between humans through machines.

Q: How did you first get into music? Did you think that you’d be doing this when you were a kid?

A: I still remember when I was a kid I really liked Pat Benatar and I had this fantasy of being like Pat Benetar and playing at the ChristChurch Town Hall. I never made a completely conscious decision to do music but it was just something I just kept coming back to. It was just what I wanted to spend my time doing. Even when I thought I needed a more respectable job and tried to study other subjects, I kept going back to music, and here I am!

Q: How has your music changed since the release of your first CD in 2005?

A: In terms of playing live, I’ve changed my live set around a lot, and it keeps changing. As far as recording goes, I’ve done more of it since then so I’m more used to using computers and recording on computers. It just depends on what you think about and I think it’s natural for the music to change too.

Q: What do you think your show at Terrace will be like?

A: Basically what people can expect on this tour is that I’ll be playing my music through a couple of laptops and recording into them as I play. A lot of the time I’ll be looping the things I record, and I process the sound with the computer as well. I just kind of stretch the songs as I play.

Q: What is the best venue you’ve ever played at?

A: I really enjoy a lot of shows for different reasons. Sometimes my favorite shows are really small, intimate ones with just 15 people in the audience and other times I’ve really enjoyed playing in theaters supporting a bigger act. Recently, in December, I supported Animal Collective on their Australian tour and some of those shows were pretty awesome to play at.

Q: If you could tour with any band out there right now, who would it be with? Do any bands stand out to you?

A: I probably would say Animal Collective, actually. I was really happy to play with them and see them play so many times because I think they’re doing really amazing stuff, making really amazing music, and they’ve got their live set up so that it was a joy to watch each time.

Q: Do you have any plans for the future?

A: I’m working on a new album, which is sort of being put to one side as I tour. But I’ll be working on it some more after I head to Europe, and I’m going to hopefully finish recording in Europe while I’m staying with my mother.

Bachelorette will be playing at Terrace F. Club Saturday at midnight. Big Bear Chase Me will be opening.

Interview conducted, condensed and edited by Lisa Han ’13.

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