DEL ANILA is a new alt-pop band and studio project helmed by London-born musical polymath, “notable cross-genre composer” (The New Yorker) and “worldly musical chameleon” (TimeOut) Danielle Eva Schwob. Known for writing “hard-edged pop songs [with] deep roots in rock music” (NY Times) that are as “catchy, honest and thoughtful” (Flavorpill) as they are “dark and beautiful” (Consequence of Sound), Schwob’s DEL ANILA is an intense blend of confessional lyrics, intricate melodies and unpredictable arrangements. Her sound fuses elements of 90s rock, electronica and classical music, re-imagining these influences in a futuristic context.
A composer, guitarist and vocalist, she grew up in North London, playing electric guitar in rock bands, studying jazz and singing in choirs. Having always admired skillful musicians who merged pop/rock with classical music and electronica, she moved to New York at age eighteen to study music formally at New York University and The Manhattan School of Music.
After discovering she had a knack for writing instrumental music, she embarked on a dual career as a concert/film composer and pop songwriter: an endeavor which has earned her performances at Lincoln Center, collaborations with members of the New York Philharmonic, Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and the Metropolitan Opera as well as honors from the Sundance Institute, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, American Composers Forum, BMI and ASCAP, among others. Upon graduating she continued working in the New York music scene as a session guitarist, arranger and composer, working on projects with artists including Philip Glass and Tara Hugo, Ben Folds and The Pogues as well as on numerous Hollywood soundtracks and Broadway productions.
With a multi-faceted music career stretching in multiple directions, Schwob needed to carve out a distinct creative space in which to focus her activities as a pop songwriter, vocalist and bandleader. After two years of development, DEL ANILA was born. Named after a near-anagram of its songwriter’s name, the project builds upon the dramatic sound of her synth and string-laden debut EP Overloaded, (released under her own name and co-produced with Ido Zmishlany). Ominous in feel, her new work paints a dystopian picture of post-recession life in an era defined by dependence on technology as well as the isolation and fragmented interpersonal relationships that come with it. Her songwriting is an exercise in contradictions, taking small, personal experiences and making them seem significant and overwhelming in their emotional arc.
These lofty aspirations are brought to life by Schwob’s singular talents as a performer, programmer and arranger. Her style as a vocalist is unique, forgoing the huskiness and warmth that characterize many of today’s pop singers for a sound that is more plaintive, focused and intense, eschewing the higher, more angelic sounds of the female voice in favour of its lower registers. Her approach to arrangement is equally creative, paying tribute to her eclectic musical roots with a sound that fuses expansive soundscapes, glittering synthesizers, cinematic string arrangements and moody electric guitars.
With a new album nearing completion that has been produced alongside three-time Grammy Award-winning producer David Bottrill (Muse, Tool, Sinead O'Connor) and Rob Cass of Abbey Road Studios as well as tourdates to follow, 2016 is set to be an exciting year for DEL ANILA.
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