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Hannalee’s Mike Notter: Resolved to get Naked Around a Campfire

Posted by December 16th, 2013 No Comments »

Timbrrr! Fest Series: Hannalee

Hannalee started as a project for Mike Notter after his one of his bandmates in Motopony left the group to tour with Frank Ocean. While that sentence is packed with an unbearable amount of talent, Notter’s actions prove that his determination and skilled creativity have manifested as a band comparable to both Motopony and Ocean. Replacing Motopony’s signature sound of “a hybrid engine drone,” Hannalee’s organic allure is meek and ardently ambitious, starting with their seasonal EP project.

Since their creation in 2010, Hannalee has cemented themselves in the local scene by releasing four EPs, one for each season, and co-headlining a show with local balladeer and Father John Misty tamer, Damien Jurado.  Notter teamed up with his wife, Anna-Lisa Notter, and his childhood friend, Fidelia Rowe, to give the trio’s harmonies even more brevity. Their approach to writing an EP for each season is refreshingly complete, each release feels like a full concept to encapsulate the intangibility of each season.

Hannalee exude an heir of positivity throughout all four EPs, bringing forth a year-round happiness that never overstays its welcome. Given Hannalee’s symphonic composition and passion for an assortment of instruments, their live presence is a force to reckon with as well.

Nada Mucho: Have you been to Leavenworth? If so, what impressions did it leave with you?
Hannalee lead singer and guitarist, Mike Notter: I grew up in Wenatchee, so Leavenworth was right around the corner.  As kids, we enjoyed stopping there on the way to Seattle.  For some reason the Happy Meals seemed to taste more exotic at the Bavarian McDonalds than at boring old regular McDonald’s back home.  I really liked poking around in the crazy Hat Shop and I also had molé for the first time there (at the Bavarian Mexican restaurant of course).  I do love the snow in the winter and the hot, hot summers and the smell of pine trees in the air.  And nowadays, on the way back home to see my folks, we stop at Gustav’s Tavern because they allow children so Kiddo can nurse while Anna-Lisa and I enjoy a delicious beer and Bavarian chicken strips.

NM: Since the festival happens in early 2014, what are some of your New Year’s resolutions?
MN: I try to steer clear of New Year’s resolutions. I can’t figure out what’s so motivating about January 1 versus June 1, you know?  That said, I’ve been feeling cooped up with city life this year.  I’m resolved to tromp out into the woods and get naked around a campfire.

NM: Timbrrr! advertises hot toddies. What are some of your favorite recipes?
MN: My preferred recipe would be 16 ounce cold delicious beer, 0 ounces of other ingredients.  But I think Fidelia and Anna-Lisa do like hot toddies.  My best guess for their recipe would be Woodford Reserve; honey & lemon plus a little sugar, spice and everything nice.

NM: The festival features snowshoeing and other winter-related activities. Do you have a favorite snow sport?
MN: I grew up skiing, but what I really love is building a good sled or inner tube course with a jump at the end.

NM: Leavenworth in January calls for warm clothing. What is your essential gear for the winter?
MN: I bought a pair of heavy-duty waterproof commando moon boots a couple years ago.  They’re the best for snow because they stay warm and dry.  But I get made fun of a lot when I wear them because they look like they came out of Star Wars.  Nonetheless, I’ll be sporting those along with an assortment of select Army Surplus items including the fingerless gloves and synthetic down coat, and maybe my Russian fake fur hat.  I’ll also likely have my tobacco pipe in-tow for the occasion.  Anna-Lisa likes to be warm so she’ll probably try to find an adult-sized version of the little brother’s snow suit in A Christmas Story.  Fidelia will probably go Bavarian-chic.

NM: Which one of your songs do you recommend listening to on a brisk winter day?
MN: As luck would have it, Hannalee has an entire EP, Brassica, dedicated to winter (as well as one for each of the other seasons).  The perfect song on the record for pondering the wonder of the season is “Midnight Glow”, while “Baby Come Home” is more fitting if you’re snuggling up with your sweetheart by the fire.

Timbrrr Fest! takes place January 10-11 in Leavenworth, Washington. 

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