In an overly saturated music industry where anyone can become a desktop rock star thanks to easily accessible computer software for recording and editing music, you have to do something different to stand out from the crowd. Cologne-based band AnnenMayKantereit have that something special. Their combination of relatively traditional instruments — meaning no prominent usage of synthesizers, auto tune or other special effects — for a mixture of indie, rock and a touch of the blues that is amazingly refreshing. What’s more, AnnenMayKantereit add raspy, deep, rich vocals that you wouldn’t expect from musicians so young. They’re a perfect fit for the monthly German language music feature for German learners.
The History of AnnenMayKantereit
Founded in 2001 and getting their start as street musicians, AnnenMayKantereit — a concatenation of the band member’s last names (Christopher Annen, Henning May, and Severin Kantereit) — released their debut full length album in 2013 as well as two singles from the album. While the songs on the band’s debut record, which is self-titled, aren’t exclusively in German, there’s more than enough tracks on the album as well as on the band’s YouTube channel to whet your German language music whistle.
AnnenMayKantereit is a band looking to do things. They clearly want to release their music to the world. In 2014, the band took to PledgeMusic to crowd fund a new EP. The project was successfully funded (they raised more than 300% of the money they set out to). And in 2015 they released the EP Wird schon irgendwie gehen.
But it wasn’t until the spring of 2016 when things really took off for the group. The band released their first major label album, Alles Nix Konkretes. The album went to the very top of the charts in German and Austria. It also saw a more than respectable sixth place in Switzerland. The album contains many of the songs you already love by AnnenMayKantereit such as “Oft gefragt” and “21, 22, 23.”
If you happen to be in the German speaking world or will be heading there, you’re in luck. The Cologne trio are regular on the tour circuit. You may see them on tour with the likes of Austria’s Bilderbuch or see Henning May singing the hook on Berlin rap crew K.I.Z.‘s “Hurra die Welt geht unter.” Their live shows are so popular, in fact, that they have a live album: AnnenMayKantereit & Freunde (Live In Berlin).
Check out three recommended videos from AnnenMayKantereit below. The pure and simple piano ballad “Barfuß Am Klavier,” the upbeat and incredibly catchy “21, 22, 23,” and the pop gem “Oft Gefragt.”
Photo by Martin Lamberty. This post contains affiliate links.