Anaïs Mitchell (pronounced 'uh-nay-is') (born c. 1981) is an American singer-songwriter. She grew up on a farm in Addison County, Vermont and attended Middlebury College. Her father is a novelist and a retired college professor.
Mitchell began writing and performing songs at the age of seventeen. While growing up, Mitchell traveled to the Middle East, Europe and Latin America and later influenced her career as a songwriter.
In 2002, Mitchell recorded her debut album The Song They Sang When Rome Fell in a single afternoon.
In 2003 Mitchell won the New Folk award at the Kerrville Folk Festival.
Her next album, Hymns for the Exiled, was released on Chicago's Waterbug Records label in 2004. This recording attracted the attention of singer/songwriter, Ani DiFranco who signed Mitchell to her label, Righteous Babe Records.
In 2006 she debuted a draft of her Hadestown "folk opera" which she wrote in collaboration with arranger Michael Chorney and director Ben T. Matchstick.
A revised verson of Hadestown was staged in 2007 and Mitchell's third album, The Brightness, was released on Righteous Babe Records.
In 2008 Mitchel was nominated in the Contemporary Artist category of the third annual Folk Alliance awards show broadcast. In September that same year Righteous Babe Records released Country E.P. , a split vinyl/CD EP Mitchell recorded with Rachel Ries.
In April 2009, Mitchell said she intended to release a recording of Hadestown. Mitchell lent her vocals to the song "Miss Independence", off of Burlington-based singer Myra Flynn's album "Crooked Measures".
Hadestown, a recording of Mitchell's folk opera was released on Righteous Babe records in March 2010 in the US (late April 2010 in the UK) and received favorable reviews. Her manager, Slim Moon, described it as "the story of Orpheus and Eurydice set in post-apocalyptic Depression-era America." The album includes guest appearances by Ani DiFranco, Greg Brown, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Ben Knox Miller of The Low Anthem, and The Haden Triplets (Petra, Rachel, and Tanya Haden).
Mitchell has received favorable reviews on her musical style, sound and performance. An article in Acoustic Guitar magazine calls Mitchell "fearlessly emotive" and compares her to Dylan, Cohen, and Welch.
A review in No Depression magazine describes Mitchell as "girlishly sprite and brimming with innocence" and says that she "brings to mind the hippie-throwback charm of Victoria Williams and "80s pop star Cyndi Lauper".
Margaret Reges of Allmusic describes Mitchell as having "the earthiness of Shawn Colvin, the child-like bite of Joanna Newsom, and the urban jumpiness of Ani DiFranco"
Official Website: http://anaismitchell.com/index.htm
MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/anaismitchell