After receiving swathes of attention for her bellowing voice and nimble ivory tinkling, Anna ‘Little Palm‘ Palmer has not only joined math-pop upstarts Tantrums, but is the focus of a forthcoming release on Bigger Than Barry Records.
Two of her signature tunes, ‘Rag Doll’ and ‘Run Little Rabbit’ have been recorded at Blue Whale Studios and shipped off to various producers for them to slice, splice, remix and re-fix for the burgeoning Brum based label.
We caught up with Anna after her session at The Whale to see how she feels about being chopped up by a load of filthy producers:
“As long as they do a good job of the chopping I don’t mind how filthy they are… But seriously, I’ve always been open to working with other artists, producers or genres so I’m very excited to hear what they come up with.”
How did the project come about?
“Well, I was on the same bill as Scarlet Harlots at a BrumNotes magazine gig at The Vic around Christmas time and I got chatting to (lead singer and BTB Records string puller) Sam about Bigger than Barry and their future plans and he just asked if I’d be up for letting them remix one of my tunes. The rest is history.”
It certainly is an interesting collaboration, are you into much dance music yourself?
“Yes, well I’m not the type who’d sit at home listening to it but on a night out it’s what you need really. I’m not going to try and name any artists as I’m not down with the times at all. I’m partial to a bit of drum and bass but most recently the Tantrums lads have shown me the wonders of dubby wub step.”
Anna recently joined forces with the notoriously boystrous post-genre Brummies, Tantrums, adding a soulful vocal and textured synths to their already comprehensive sound, which has been widely received as an inspired move for both parties and according to Anna, came about due to a mutual appreciation of their work.
“I met the lads at the Coffee and Cake Summer Festival. We’d both done acoustic sets and had both commented on how much we enjoyed each others’ music and performances. Later on the conversation shifted to Alan Partridge, Will Farrell and all the other loves we had in common. We had a good laugh that night and said it would be cool to hang out again and maybe write a tune. So we did. We collaborated on ‘Steal it Back’ and played a few gigs with the track. Then around Christmas they called me up and asked me to join the band and I squealed at them!”
Are the boys well behaved around you? They can be quite uncouth at times.
“Well behaved?! Ha! They are sickening creatures. I have to issue a few clips round the ear from to time but they’re harmless really. Bless ’em.”
Not only are Bigger Than Barry Records arranging for Anna to be nipped and tucked by the heaviest producers around, they are currently working on a release by the afore mentioned Tantrums (details to be announced shortly). Sam from BTB explains the three reasons behind choosing to work with Anna: “Her voice, her voice, her voice!”
However, he is more tight-lipped about who will be working on the two tunes recorded at Blue Whale; “I don’t want to give the game away but in the past we have worked and have releases with Enigma, Dub Melitia and Shorterz, who I work with on the label, which are all available to download from Beatport. We have releases lined up with local legends Will Bailey and Mickey Slim and Welsh wizards Chesus and Rodski to name but a few. So hold tight for these future releases!”
You’ve straddled genres with previous Scarlets’ remixes and pending Tantrums and Anna releases, I assume the Bigger Than Barry brand is big enough to be a genre-less label with a strong enough identity to succeed with its releases whatever sub-section they fit into?
“When we started the parties it was never about genre, it was about the party and that idea is at the heart of what we are trying to do with the label.”
And what is it that you want to achieve with the record company?
“To be canonised in the annals of musical history! No, it feels good to form a community through things that you love and we are doing the things we love. The fact that we are doing this on a shoestring probably means that nine times out of ten, the artists we put out won’t reach a wider audience, unfortunately. But it’s something we don’t dwell on because we are doing it for the love and hopefully people have faith in what we are trying to achieve and help in what ever way they can.”
Are there any plans to release Scarlet Harlots material through BTB?
“My lips are sealed at the moment. Hold tight though!”
Anna is thankfully slightly more forthcoming about where she sees herself in the next few months; “I’m going to be working on Tantrums mainly, trying to push the band as much as possible. I’ll still play the odd gig as Little Palm so I can moan away my thoughts from time to time. The next one is at the end of March at the Arcadian Kicks club night at Sound Bar, but yeah, me and the lads are going to be working very hard on getting a few EP’s out.
“In September I’m due to be going to the Conservatoire in Brum but who knows what the future may hold! I’m really chuffed to be in a band with some brilliant musicians and what makes it even better is how well we get along, they’re such a great bunch of lads and I’m so glad we crossed paths. I’ve got quite a bit to juggle though as I’m working full time at a school but I’m really looking forward to the upcoming releases on Barry, cheers Sam! And all the live shows – should be a great year!”
Keep them peepers peeled on this very blog for more details on Bigger Than Barry Records output.