A frequent performer at charity events, nightclubs, and festivals around Los Angeles, Annette Conlon is no stranger to hardship or hard work. She toured the country from the mid-1990s through the mid-2000s with her Dallas-based alt-rock band Eden Automatic, opening shows for the likes of the B-52s, Duran Duran, Missing Persons and the Pretenders. But, when serious health issues forced Annette to face her own mortality, the transformation which followed resulted in a seismic artistic shift toward a rootsier sound, resulting in her most honest collection of personal musical storytelling.
The influences of Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton can be discerned in her solo debut, 2015’s “Life, Death, and the Spaces Between,” especially in the country-flavored melodies and lively instrumentation — accordion, banjo, cello, Dobro, guitars, mandolin, mellotron, pedal steel — arranged with guitarist/husband Doug Conlon and multi-instrumentalist/producer Ted Wulfers. The 10 songs explore Conlon’s two-year journey through deadly illness, multiple surgeries and a major brain injury. Songs like “First Suicide,” “Cedar Box” and “Faceless Angel” address challenging issues of loss, fear, faith and relationships — weighty matters, to be sure, yet she fashions silver linings from the darkest of clouds.
“I was often told I would never be ‘as good as new’ or as I was before I became ill,” Conlon recalls. “I was frustrated with being defined by my illness, and decided instead of being ‘as good as new’ I would become ‘better than before.’ I wrote ‘Live Like an Angel’ about refusing to let crushing despair defeat you — about rising above and letting the world hear you sing.”
Country Music People ranked “Life, Death, and the Spaces Between” third on a Best Albums of 2015 list, and dubbed Conlon “a major talent” who “created a moving, intimate, magical melodic country trip.” AXS.com called it “a sincere compilation of emotionally born composition.” “Life, Death, and the Spaces Between” landed on the Top 100 RadioFreeAmericana chart, and tracks are earning radio play in the U.S. and Europe.
Long active in LA’s independent music community, Conlon is dedicated to supporting other independent women in music. Toward that end, she created the Internet radio program “NetteRadio,” and has produced more than 50 artist showcases that have raised funds for numerous charitable causes. She also hosts a monthly songwriter night at LA’s popular Muse on 8th coffeehouse, a relaxed setup that allows her to connect with other singer-songwriters and Americana artists across the City of Angels. She won the 2011 Songsalive! Songwriter of the Year Award, and a 2015 Hollywood Music Media Award nomination in Americana.
Still driven by the DIY ethic that shaped Eden Automatic’s career, Conlon is currently working with three-time Grammy winner Alf Rodenas on her second album, a “folkier, sweeter, darker” effort that she promises “delves even deeper into my human heart.” In September, the passionate animal rights advocate and vegan performs in Nashville during the annual Americana Music Association conference and then launches her Compassionette Tour, which winds through Alabama and North Carolina before landing at Chicago Veganmania’s “compassionate culture” celebration. It’s a fitting wrap for a tour — and artist — committed to “spreading awareness through music, fashion, food, and love.”
Annette has been featured in Fierce Magazine, Examiner.com, and AXS.com, and her writing has been published in ROCKRGRL.
Annette was voted ‘Fan Favorite’ by the 2015 L.A. Music Critic readers and her CD LIFE, DEATH, AND THE SPACES BETWEEN received a nomination for an L.A. Music Critic Award. She is a 2015 HMMA (Hollywood Music Media Awards) Nominee. She was awarded the 2011 Songsalive! Songwriter of the Year Award and she was a recipient of the 2009/2010 ASCAPlus Award.
Her music has been licensed for several films.
She is endorsed by Bedell Guitars, Bent & Bree, BHAVA, Couch Guitar Straps, Daisy Rock Guitars, Kat Mendenhall Vegan Cowboy Boots, Guitar Moose, LR Baggs, Seagull Guitars, and Shubb Capos. Tofurky has lent support to the Compassionette Tour by providing coupon booklets and compassionate counter-culture cards to pass out along the way.
Annette has been a voting member of the Grammy’s (NARAS) since 2001. Her work was nominated in round one for the 58th GRAMMY consideration in several categories, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year, as well as Best New Artist, Best American Roots Performance (First Suicide), Best American Roots Song (First Suicide), and Best Americana Album (Life, Death, and the Spaces Between).
She is a vegan, an advocate for animal rights, rescues stray kitties, and is passionate about everything she pursues.
She is full of gratitude.
Membership: ASCAP, NARAS (voting 2001), Americana Music Association (voting 2015), FAI (Folk Alliance), and NSAI – Nashville Songwriters Association.
Other memberships include: Songsalive!, GoGirlsMusic, and LAWiM (Los Angeles Women In Music)
Annette works with many great organizations such as Songnet, IMC, Rockin’ Moms, and Mamapalooza.
LIFE, DEATH, AND THE SPACES BETWEEN was funded by Kickstarter. Annette is grateful to everyone who supported this debut solo record by contributing to and sharing this campaign.
Previous bands: The Conlons, Eden Automatic, who toured and released (four CDs), Somebody’s Sister, and Love Garage.