Name: Annalibera
Members: Anna Gebhardt (vocals, keyboards), Phil Young (bass), Ryan Stier (guitar)
Contact: webpage / bandcamp / facebook / twitter / instagram



PRESS PHOTO (credit: Bruce Bales)

PRESS PHOTO (credit: Michael Watson)


Nevermind I Love You:

01 Moving Song
02 Battle World
03 Vermilion
04 Black Cat White Cat
05 Blooms
06 Clouds
07 Mountain
08 Honesty

“I helped my dad – or probably more like accompanied him, which is helpful I guess because farming is so lonely – but yeah, I helped lay irrigation pipe and fix fences and feed cattle salt blocks in the pastures,” says Anna Gebhardt, frontwoman for Annalibera, about growing up on a farm five miles outside of Scotia, Nebraska, where there was one cop in the entire basically lawless county (“I have stories”) and zero shows to go to. “No one wrote songs or played in bands,” she reflects. In this outlying environment, Gebhardt obsessed over records. “They were my link to the world beyond my remote farm life.” Gebhardt is quick to mention how beautiful and experientially rich her agrarian upbringing was, but there was no avoiding the isolation that fueled an intense inner life and propelled her creative development.

Gebhardt pursues her interests obsessively, so upon leaving the farm, she studied voice at Drake University, voraciously absorbing song structures and vocal techniques, synthesizing her love for Mozart’s brilliant melodies and balanced forms with her blossoming interest in the other-worldly songwriting of Kate Bush, Bjork and P.J. Harvey and the inventive electronic explorations of Aphex Twin, all of whom she would eventually site as influences (“osmosis-style”) on her own work. She started writing music in an old house that she was living in across from the Drake fine arts center. “Lots of space and wood floors and great light – we had good times, like poor college student do. In between studies and adventures and hanging out with boys, the flood of songs and ideas was constant. Melodies came, the lyrics pretty complete. I’d just open up and there they were.”

After testing the waters with a 3-song self-titled EP of dark and airy electro-pop in 2013, Gebhardt was surprised by the strong response to her material. Annalibera was offered a spot at 80/35 (headlined by David Byrne & St. Vincent, Wu-Tang Clan, Yeasayer, Deerhunter) which was covered by QRO Mag and Tiny Mix Tapes, and recorded a Daytrotter session. On the strength of this scant teaser buoyed by Gebhardt’s celestial vocals, Annalibera was highlighted by Paste Magazine as one of Iowa’s best offerings, “coarse and comforting, like tender folk and growling rock streaming together into a softened storm,” and their debut is the most highly anticipated Iowa release of 2015 according to local culture outlet DSMINB, with Des Moines Music Coalition predicting that “they’ll be everybody’s favorite band this time next year.”

Annalibera’s debut full length Nevermind I Love You is set for release on Sump Pump Records on vinyl and digital formats on March 24th. Recorded and mixed at Wabi Sound in Des Moines and mastered by Carl Saff, the record captures re-recorded versions of all 3 songs from the S/T EP, in addition to 5 more songs. Gebhardt is joined by Ryan Stier (The River Monks) on guitar and Phil Young (Tires) on bass.

“For some of us, the search for true love is laced with a lot of confusion – and lies disguised as love. That’s what I’m talking about,” reveals Gebhardt about the debut album and its themes of love and fear. “Nevermind I Love You is me calling myself out, and anyone else who has done this too, for hiding behind ‘love’. For the act of ignoring whatever’s important in the name of love, justifying treating yourself, others, or the world badly.” Nevermind I Love You acts as a retrospective foghorn through Gebhardt’s search for meaningful, fulfilling relationships and the pitfalls that come before, during and after them. “It’s about how we say, ‘Let’s not deal with our bullshit. Let’s stay safe and keep doing this the wrong way because we’re scared, okay? Because I can just say I love you and we feel better for a second’.”


Annalibera’s 2013 EP sounded like a musical magpie, arms full of sounds and styles as she exits a darker, foreboding forest and into the calming morning sunshine, with sweet, celestial vocals atop thunderous drums, airy synthesizers lacing around booming bass. Our chosen track, [Vermilion], continues this dichotomy of coarse and comforting, like tender folk and growling rock streaming together into a softened storm. – Jeff Milo, Paste Magazine

Beautifully moody…Its emotive vocals ebb and flow, reaching a climax during the chorus while a slow-burning mesh of synths, percussion and carefully plucked guitar swirl overhead. – The Wild Honey Pie

The kind of creativity (or bored experimentation) that can only stem from big yards and big skies outside of town. – Top Heavy, Tiny Mix Tapes

With an eerie and intimate ambience, the new single “Black Cat White Cat” by Annalibera seduces on the strength of Anna Gebhardt’s searing alto and dreamy imagism. – KDHX

[‘Blooms’] glides along like a giant bubble wand dragged through a clear spring day, tinged with the mystifying effects of a crush. – Culture Collide

People showed up in droves to listen to their folk-tinged indie sound. Gebhardt’s vocals soared powerfully and the band drifted in and out of nice, melodic grooves. – Thomas Rue, QRO Mag

Add to your must-see list Annalibera, the dreamy, evocative project helmed by singer Anna Gebhardt…Live, Gebhardt manages to personify music that is emotionally heavy and musically engrossing without becoming pretentious, a neat trick that has eluded many other singers of rare capacity…with a new album in hand there’s also nothing stopping Annalibera from blowing up in a big way this year. – Eleven Music Magazine

Holding everything together are two related things: the interval-oriented melody, which floats us up and down the octave via archetypal arpeggios; and singer Anna Gebhardt’s soaring, searing voice, in which I hear rich echoes of the perennially underrated Tanya Donelly. (And if that comparison means anything to you, seriously, don’t miss this song.) – Fingertips

One of the most spellbindingly beautiful, assured and astonishing debut albums… in quite some time. – The VPME

In a combination of some of the riot grrrl pop of Le Tigre and the mid-tempo progressions of bands like Fleetwood Mac, Annalibera, a four-piece from Des Moines, offer an anti-anthem on “Battle World.” Embracing the uncertainty of the tiny universe they create here, vocalist Anna Gebhardt asks, “Who am I/and who are you/and how did we arrive here?” It’s their “this is not my beautiful house” moment, the drums just beginning to lift off the downbeat, the rich middle section of “Battle World” with its driving guitars and Gebhardt’s brave alto working its way through the maw. Undamaged by this uncertainty, the band settles on “Who cares where the world came from?”, each word hitting nearly in time with the snare drum, an insistence bread on some fringe brand of Midwestern existentialism. The hooks, Gebhardt’s lilting voice, emerge as immediately singable, a short rock song that demands to be replayed and chanted along with. As the band suggests with its blithe nihilism: Who cares where this came from? – Geoff Nelson, 32 ft/sec

Annalibera is a fresh music act…a classically-trained singer with a collegiate background in opera. –

Our track of the week, the tune for the blizzard, sounds like that: a crygasm. – Audio Femme

Annalibera are an Iowa based dream pop outfit that are turning heads on the interwebs. They are set to release their debut LP Nevermind I Love You on March 24th via Sump Pump Records. You can check out the first single, “Black Cat White Cat”, below to see what all the hubbub is about. – No Country For New Nashville

It’s not just Anna Gebhardt’s impossibly gorgeous vocals and devastating delivery that has rendered me mute, the sparse yet haunting accompaniment is equal to the task. The Des Moines, Iowa based band has entirely enchanted me with this incredibly accomplished and affecting first effort. I find a new favorite part with each listen. – Aimless Skylarking

[Gebhardt’s] classically trained voice is so remarkable, I kept waiting for it to reach its limit, but the limit never came…The ethereal, operatic vocals take skills of which many other vocalists can only dream. – Surviving the Golden Age

Nevermind I Love You is one of the most enthralling and tantalizing debuts to come out not just this year but in recent memory. The Des Moines, Iowa band’s first full-length is dramatic and cinematic; it is at times operatic; and it’s a sheer force of sound from start to finish…“Black Cat White Cat” [is] one of the best songs of the early year, the lyrics are poignant, honest, and hard-hitting. – The Revue

Their debut opener gives the impression that their genesis will not be taken with a grain of salt…Something caught me with this album. It could be the dynamics these musicians swarm around on “Battle World”. It could be the way Gebhardt mixes with the music, and the importance of the lyrics that are positioned so neatly on “Blooms”. – Selective Memory Magazine

Just about two years ago the Des Moines group Annalibera sprang seemingly from nowhere, playing a knockout set at the 2013 GDP and shortly after that were one of the first acts announced for the 80/35 Music Festival. The group was quick to release a three-song EP and performed regularly, but the band’s long awaited full length album, Nevermind I Love You, is just seeing its release this week with two Des Moines shows. – Juice Magazine

It is popular to use the term ‘mesmerizing’ in describing a song or song feature. Our only experiences with a state we would characterize as being mesmerized were during performances of Florence and the Machine, when the sound system and acoustics allowed the concert-goers to appreciate the extraordinary vocal skills. In a similar setting, Annalibera could provide another visit to that state. – Indie Obsessive

If this track doesn’t have you putty in its hands by its conclusion, I’m not sure what will…Slow motion instrumentation burns brightly amongst Anna Gebhard’s absolutely stunning, clear vocal and together they effortlessly entwine like a butterfly in full flight, fluttering with lingering grace and seduction. Go fall in love. – Just Music I Like

Slow burning verses build into huge, sweeping choruses, vocalist Anna Gebhardt moving effortlessly through the vocal gears, as capable of throwing down dramatic long notes as soft lingering sounds. A staircase of staccato guitar motifs provide the framework that holds the piece together. – Record Rewind Play

Dazzling, heartfelt songs…Much of the album feels like an internal battle between someone’s demons and their better angels, but what makes it so compelling is the album’s unwillingness to definitively state which is which. Throughout the album, there is a strong element of wanderlust, of restlessness, but it is counterbalanced by a subtle, very human, desire for peace and love and a good, happy life. More than anything, the album feels almost like a vocalized hope that those two ideals don’t wind up being mutually exclusive. – Hear Nebraska

Track of the Day: Annalibera – “Black Cat White Cat”…stunning – Even the Stars

Annalibera’s Nevermind I Love You, set for release in March from the Des Moines-based Sump Pump Records label, is a beautiful, haunting collaboration between some of Iowa’s best musical talents…Nevermind I Love You is expertly written and performed, and immaculately composed with exceptional musical skill. – Pulse Magazine

Recalling Emir Kusturica’s hilarious to sorowful movie Black Cat, White Cat, following act seems drawing similar senses and experiences one’s had and seen going like clockwork. Annalibera, Des Moines, Iowa based trio, getting off the vulturous, all-consuming things and being influenced by more sophisticated ones, fashioned their debut single, ‘Black Cat White Cat,’ sound astonishing at the full blast and tuned low due classick rock mood that doesn’t stop to rebel along angelic yet strong vocals you might catch in your heart. If you’ve got spelled, look after their next steps, including debut release Nevermind I Love You to be out soon. – Click & Listen IT

Annalibera is one of a trio of Iowa acts that will share a bill at Cafe Berlin (Columbia, MO). Dubbing itself a ‘twang-shoe chambergaze band,’ Annalibera makes hazy, lush and lovely pop that recalls both the moodier and more melodic sides of New Wave and ’90s alt-rock. – Columbia Tribune

Call Annalibera anything you like. Call them rock, pop, shoegaze, chamber rock, whatever. Certainly somewhere in their debut album, Nevermind I Love You, you are bound to find influence. However no matter what you label their music, make sure you use other metaphors like original, unique, and spectacular…some amazing energies that pour out of these eight tracks. – Get It On Vinyl

Annalibera is a talent simply bent on exploding with well-deserved recognition…sublime and powerfully hypnotic. – Distant Records

[Annalibera] have something incredibly exceptional going on. They totally blew me away with their single, ‘Black Cat White Cat’…[Nevermind I Love You is] darkly moving, hypnotic, experimental, and pleasantly ethereal. – Tina Bobeeena, A Sober Head Full of Confusion

The distressed hopefulness of ‘Black Cat White Cat’ builds to a tempest of sound behind Gebhardt’s voice, one capable of swallowing the Great Plains – Bucket Full of Nails

Despite only having a few studio-recorded tracks under their belt, Annalibera’s music carries a far more polished and mature character than what you’d expect from such a young group. – Adam Montufar, Des Moines Music Coalition

Annalibera has been absolutely killing it around Des Moines since their introduction to the scene in February 2013. – Band Bombshell

Annalibera has been a bit of a startling revelation on the Iowa scene in 2013. Beautiful voices, heavenly instrumentals and a ghostly vibe, Annalibera has gotten a lot of push from a lot of people for an important reason: they’re very good. – David Murphy, Iowaves

A dream pop four-piece that has been likened to high-minded acts like The Cocteau Twins. Through a deeply theatrical sound and some captivating live performances, Annalibera has very quickly established itself as one of the more buzzworthy acts in the capital city’s music scene. – Chad Taylor, Des Moines Cityview

The guitars and vocals blend into a verbed-out sound that is just short of psychedelic and not too affected to lose the central commitment to the big hooks. – Nate Logsdon, Ames Tribune

Dynamic pop songs with strong vocals and solid harmonies. – The Milk Carton

3/5/15: Ames, IA – DG’s Taphouse
3/6/15: Cedar Falls, IA – Octopus
3/7/15: Omaha, NE – O’Leavers
3/8/15: Lincoln, NE – Duffy’s
3/9/15: Columbia, MO – Cafe Berlin
3/10/15: St. Louis, MO – Foam
3/11/15: Nashville, TN – Mad Donna’s
3/12/15: Nashville, TN – East Room
3/13/15: Muncie, IN – Be Here Now
3/16/15: Chicago – Schubas
3/17/15: Chicago – Louder House
3/18/15: Beloit, WI – The Music House
3/19/15: Rock Island, IL – Rozz-Tox
3/20/15: Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews
3/21/15: Fairfield, IA – Arbor Bar
3/22/15: Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews

9/13/13: Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews
9/14/13: Hollister, MO – Vintage Paris
9/15/13: Columbia, MO – Mojo’s
9/16/13: Springfield, MO – Martha’s Vineyard
9/17/13: St. Louis, MO – Foam
9/18/13: Murfreesboro, TN – The Boro
9/19/13: Nashville, TN – The Springwater
9/20/13: Columbus, OH – Cafe Bourbon Street
9/21/13: Oberlin, OH – Oberlin College
9/22/13: Chicago, IL – Schubas
9/23/13: Chicago, IL – Louder House
9/24/13: Minneapolis, MN – Hexagon Bar
9/25/13: Cedar Falls, IA – The Octopus
9/26/13: Fairfield, IA – The Beauty Shop
9/28/13: Ames, IA – Maximum Ames Fest


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