German singer Henning May’s voice makes his band AnnenMayKantereit almost instantly recognizable. Upon first glance, it is surprising to hear such a deep and rich tone emerge from such a young man. When May’s voice is combined with the light, memorable melodies on piano or guitar, it is easy to see why the band has found great success in the German-speaking world. (And they are not afraid to do some English language music, too. But we language learners will stick to the German tunes, right? Right!)
And it is a good thing that AnnenMayKantereit is so recognizable because their music is so popular you seem to hear it everywhere. The German group can be found on television, radio, and everywhere in between.
So this month, let’s set toes tapping and learn German with the music of AnnenMayKantereit!
Get to Know AnnenMayKantereit
AnnenMayKantereit was formed in 2011 by guitarist Christopher Annen, singer and pianist Henning May, and drummer Severin Kantereit. At the time, the three were still attending school in Cologne. The guys combined their last names in order to create the name of the band. To hone their skills the group busked as street musicians in their hometown. Bass player Lars Lötgering joined during this time but was replaced three years later by Malte Huck.
In 2013, the band self-released a self-titled live album. Some of the tracks were recordings from their street performances. It was their first release. They also began releasing their music themselves on YouTube. Following the release of a video for their track “Wohin du gehst,” things started to heat up for the group.
They completed a nationwide tour, hit the summer festival circuit, and then served as openers for popular band Beatsteaks.
The Music of AnnenMayKantereit
In 2015, the group released their Wird schon irgendwie gehen EP. This time their record wasn’t self-released by on Vertigo Berlin. The hype around AnnenMayKantereit grew quickly. They continued to tour and May guested on Berlin rappers K.I.Z‘s “Hurra die Welt geht unter.”
But it was the group’s first single, “Oft gefragt,” that music listeners noticed. In March 2016, the group finally released their debut album, Alles nix Konkretes. The album went to the top of the German and Austrian music charts and in the process going gold three times in Germany. The album included memorable singles like “Barfuß am Klavier” and “Pocahontas.”
2018 saw the band release their sophomore album, Schlagschatten. Unsurprisingly, the record was again a hit for the group.
Photo by Martin Lamberty. This post contains affiliate links.