Written by Trey Reis

Des Moines four-piece, Annalibera, are a hard band to pin down. To start, they’ve been playing great show after great show around the central Iowa area over the past few months, including a stage spot at the 80-35 Music Festival, and a number of well-attended shows at the Vaudeville Mews. They’ve released only a 3-song EP thus far to positive local success, and now they’re embarking on their first tour.

Staring this Friday, the 13th (hopefully not a bad omen), the tour begins with a kick-off show at the Vaudeville Mews alongside tour mate, Fairfield electronic heart, MR NASTI (look for our Q&A with him tomorrow), and Des Moines’ Love Songs for Lonely Monsters.

Already proving to be a headlining force among the Des Moines area, the tour takes the two bands all around the Midwest, even swinging the chariot as low as Tennessee for a couple of shows, before returning to Iowa to close out Saturday night of the Maximum Ames Festival.

Read our Q&A with the band and check out the full tour schedule.

Annalibera “Moving Song” from DEFT on Vimeo.

Q: Your music ranges from shoegaze tendencies to almost outright folk-rock depending on the song. Where does this spectrum of sound derive from in your musical history?

A: It’s a result of listening to a lot of different types of music, thanks to the internet and good friends with good taste, but also the sense of “write what you know.” I grew up in the country and I have noticed that since I started writing, I have a deeper interest in folk and country music than I’d thought. I started out trying to write pop songs and later realized the freedom and ease the country-folk style offers when you want to express yourself. So some of my songs are kind of an outpouring and some were crafted more thoughtfully.

Q: Was a full band always what you had in mind? If not, how did the inclusion of additional members and instrumentation change your direction of sound?

A: Most of the songs we play right now I wrote in my bedroom in college for myself. It was just a creative outlet for my twenty year old confusion and I didn’t plan to play them- I couldn’t play them. I just made these crude layered demos in garage band and it was very cathartic for me. I wanted most of them to have a bigger sound, but didn’t have a way to make big drum sounds myself. It was only after encouragement from Pat Fleming and Ryan that I started trying to put a band together to try and make it happen. Playing the songs acoustic style with Ryan was just one step in that direction, generating interest. Now that we’ve been playing band style for a while, we’re realizing there are some other elements missing so when we get back from tour, we’ll be experimenting even more with the sound.

Photo by Bruce James Bales

Ryan Stier of Annalibera at 80/35 // Photo by Bruce James Bales

Q: Talk about that tour.

A: The tour is from Sep 13 to the 27 and we have so many rad shows set up. I know one of the guys is pumped to play at Schubas, the Chicago venue. The Springfield, Missouri show is going to be a wild night. There’s an entire diaspora of my friends in the Nashville area and I’ve never been there yet so I can’t wait for that. I’ve never been to Ohio, and I’m excited to see our friends Mentalease there, too. And we’re in Minneapolis for a night, so I’ll hopefully hit up the Bad Waitress while we’re there. Then, our homecoming show is ideal, opening for Northeast heroes, Eros, and also Eschaton at the Zombies after-party at the Maximum Ames Music Festival. Glorious! Every city we’re playing at good venues with great bands and our favorite people – it’s going to rule!

Q: Fairfield bands all have this distinct Fairfieldness to them. MR NASTI takes that in a direction that an Internet audience, obsessed with genre tags, would probably classify as PBR&B, but to us Iowans, it’s just “Fairfield”. How did the idea of touring with him become a reality?

A: Nicholas and I have been best friends for a long time. When we learned that we needed a drummer for tour, it was surprising but also made a lot of sense to have him drum for us, since he was planning on touring at the same time. It’s really exciting to be working with him on this tour, even considering the extreme contrast of our two styles. Whoever shows up for any of our shows is in for an experience.

Anna Gebhardt of Annalibera at 80/35 // Photo by Bruce James Bales

Anna Gebhardt of Annalibera at 80/35 // Photo by Bruce James Bales

Annalibera // MR NASTI Tour, 2013

Sept 13. Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews w/ Love Songs for Lonely Monsters

Sept 14. Hollister MO  – Vintage Paris

Sept 15. Columbia, MO – Mojo’s w/ Dubb Nubb

Sept 16. Springfield, MO – Martha’s Vineyard

Sept 17. St Louis, MO – Foam

Sept 18. Murfreesboro, TN – The Boro

Sept 19. Nashville, TN – The Springwater w/ Chalaxy

Sept 20. Columbus, OH – Bourbon St.

Sept 21. Oberlin, OH – Oberlin College w/ Wax Monsters

Sept 22. Chicago, IL – Quenchers w/ Terriers & Gold Cult

Sept 23. Chicago, IL – House Show @ Louder House

Sept 24. Minneapolis, MN – Hexagon Bar w/ Vacation Dad & Gloss

Sept 25. Cedar Falls, IA – The Octopus

Sept 26. Fairfield, IA – Beauty Shop

Sept 28. Ames, IA – Maximum Ames Music Festival @ the Octagon w/ Eros and the Eschaton, Gloom Balloon and MAIDS