Annabelle Chvostek is a Juno nominated singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based out of Toronto and Montreal. Americana, UK has described her as an artist “whose talent is so exceptional that [she is able] to explore and master any musical genre she wishes”.
Her fifth solo recording, Be The Media, may take some by surprise. After releasing two albums with Canada’s foremost folk label, Borealis Records, Annabelle has gone back to her independent roots, picked up a 1957 Kay electric guitar, and is releasing a new recording in collaboration with NY producer Jeff Oehler of Beehive Productions, drummer Tony Spina and bassist Jérémie Jones.
Be The Media takes an unconventional approach featuring Beehive’s signature ‘live-off-the-floor’ feel. The songs were recorded live with the trio in a tight knit circle in the acoustic ambience of an old century home. Additional parts were recorded later in Montréal and Montevideo. Her 2008 album Resilience placed a meticulously crafted vocal style under the microscope. In this new album, Annabelle’s voice is given free reign to let loose with songs that express raw emotions and a groove that tends more towards rock’n’roll than conventional roots.
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Annabelle’s musical career began at the age of eight when she began performing with the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus. While pursuing a degree in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts at Concordia University she released two recordings, One AM to Five AM (1997), a 4-song EP put out on cassette featuring Annabelle solo on acoustic guitar, and Full Stop (2000), her first full length album, in which she experiments with electronic music. In 2003 she released the jazz-fueled Water and in 2005, the raw, angst-ridden EP Burned My Ass, featuring Annabelle on violin and guitar. All four recordings were self-produced and self-released under the label MQGV (Massive Quantities of Good Vibes).
In 2006 Annabelle joined the Wailin’ Jennys and toured the world with their award winning album Firecracker, in which she wrote four songs. Upon leaving the Jennys, she released Resilience (2008), co-wrote two songs with Canadian legend Bruce Cockburn on his Juno winning album A Small Source of Comfort (2011), and put out Rise (2013), an unabashedly political album inspired by the wave of grassroots uprisings that emerged all over the world – from the Occupy Movement in New York to the G20 protests in Toronto in 2011. Rise was nominated for a Juno Award in the Roots and Traditional Album of the Year category, and both Rise and Resilience were nominated for Contemporary Album of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.
In the last year Annabelle composed and produced a score for NYC-based dance company Drastic Action and collaborated with Toronto’s Echo Women’s Choir, a 93-voice choir that performed songs from her album Rise in a packed Trinity St. Paul’s Church. She also toured in the UK, Western Europe, and the Canadian Prairies and became a mom to her daughter, Anaïs Lou.