Decisions made in bars get a bad rep. Often clouded by the haze of alcohol and filled with morning-time regrets. That isn't the case for Anna Holmquist'12, who now has a strong track record for bar decisions. In fact, her simple "yes" said in a small Chicago dive bar has led Anna to performing at the much-beloved musical festival Pitchfork in July.
The Curls began in 2014, but Anna didn’t join the band in 2015. “I knew the people in the band, they were friends of friends and from the Chicago music scene. I was at The Burlington in Chicago listening to them and I was thinking ‘it would be really fun to sing with them sometimes. It’d be fun to do harmonies on these songs.’ After their set, Mick [Fansler] came up to me and said they were putting together their album and asked if I wanted to sing. It seemed pretty meant-to-be.”
The vocalist was no stranger to bands, having been in a few, including a self-described “short-lived” one called Poet Riot during her time at Beloit. “We performed exactly once,” she says.
Anna, a creative writing major, now co-writes and co-lead sings in the group, which is normally a sextet ensemble but expands to include horn section or background dancers when on stage. Their music is often described as “art-rock” fusing together “quirky” sounds, which has drawn comparisons to The Talking Heads, StereoLab, and Arcade Fire.
The band releases its latest album “Super Unit” in November. Musically, Anna said she’s influenced by a variety of musicians.
“I grew up going to church and I drew and still draw a lot of harmonic inspiration from hymns. I’m a really big musical theatre fan. I also draw also draw inspiration from the theatrical aspect and harmonies from musical theater.”
Pitchfork Musical Festival brings together more than 40 acts throughout the course of three days in Chicago’s Union Park. Now in its 13th year, the festival maintains a commitment to low ticket prices and new and exciting acts, as well as fan-favorite musicians.