For the past couple of months, singer/songwriter Annabel Jones and her Bluebell accomplice, producer Charlie Westropp, have been quietly invading the blogosphere with their atmospheric debut track ‘Normal Heights’. The song, which captures Jones’ soft vocals mixed with a lush synth-laden instrumental backdrop, has become somewhat of an Internet favourite thanks in part to its Tumblr inspired video. A swiftly cutting collection of intimate imagery, the video is a beautifully nostalgic accompaniment to this heartfelt melody.
While the track may be the pair’s first single, Jones is no stranger to the industry. As the daughter of sixties crooner Davy Jones and having already fronted band Lady and The Lost Boys who gained some early success; Jones has a natural talent combined with the experience required to see her new project go a whole lot further.
With the twosome’s first EP in the works and aspirations to play more and more live gigs; Bluebell is one name to definitely look out for in the future
How did you guys start out making music together?
I sent Charlie a demo I made last summer while I was away in California, he remixed it and when I heard it, I flipped. He totally got it. We started writing together properly in January of this year.... and here we are now!
Your first step into the music industry was with Lady and The Lost Boys. What made you decide to take another route or are you still working with that band?
I look back now and think..."yeah, we were fucking good". We didn’t play the game, didn’t care about "image" or writing "singles”. And it showed...because nothing ever happened with our band... Hahaha.
No, I remember when we supported The Walkmen on their European tour, we played ULU and I was so ill. It was an important show for us because we had a load of industry coming and when we came off stage we were so excited because we knew we had just played the best show ever. The next day our manager gave us a bunch of feedback. It was all the same, but one thing I remember really clearly was him telling us that the rep from Virgin said, "We were one of the tightest bands they’d seen...but the singer just looks like she doesn’t make an effort." He wasn’t talking about my energy or my performance- he was talking about my outfit.
Basically, we weren’t commercially appealing and you can only get punched in the face so many times before you go, ok, I get it, you don’t like my face. So no, we’re not still together.
What’s the music scene like as a whole over in Hampshire?
The scene in Hampshire is really, really good. A lot of my favourite artists are people I know from the south, not just Hampshire. Some people you might like or know, FOE, Entrepreneurs, Dry The River, Evryone, The JCQ. They’re all doing really well and it’s very satisfying to see.
How would you best sum up your music?
Pop with heart and brains and balls.
Who are you currently listening to?
I am currently obsessed with the last Vampire Weekend album ‘Contra’. That guy’s lyrics are so smart and I love their punky, Americana, New England vibe. If you want a "what’s hot" tip, I’m not your girl! I’m always behind the curve, it takes me a long time to listen to an album, I like to get to know every moment of it.
I tell you who I do really like though and who are just breaking - Odd Future. They are terrifying. Finally. I can’t take one more rapper telling me to get on the floor...and then put my hands in the air, that’s tiring, ya know…
Tell me about the track ‘Normal Heights’. What’s the inspiration behind it and who made the video?
‘Normal Heights’ is about a guy I know from California. The song is about his life and a time when it crossed paths with mine. I made the video myself with footage and photographs from his website, he does this candid camera stuff that is, in my opinion, brilliant.
You’ve been starting get some radio airplay now. How did it feel hearing your song getting played for the first time?
I was driving to Oxford in the rain when I heard it first. I screamed, then cried, then laughed and laughed until the song was over. I always laugh in serious and inappropriate situations.
Where is your favourite place to perform live and any memorable past gigs?
My most memorable past gig? I don’t know, sadly when you’re in a touring band, all the shitty empty venues blend into one.
Unless you’re in a successful touring band...haha. That’s sad and funny.
I played a gig for Oxfam in Liverpool, that’s where I met Charlie, how about that?
What can we expect from your upcoming EP?
You can expect some massive pop riffs and tons of crap from my overcrowded brain.
What are you most excited about in the next few months?
This week Charlie and I are in the studio for 14 days, we’re going to try and get this EP done. I can’t wait for that. I can’t wait to get on back on stage. It’s been a year now. Also, I feel like people really believe in this, that gives me hope and hope is exciting.
For more on Bluebell, check out www.bluebellshouse.net and www.whitethroat.tumblr.com