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Nominated for Best Song and Best Indie Rock band at the Inland Empire Music Awards in January, Ann Lynn (made up of brothers Josh and Matt Pool) zipped down the mountain roads from Big Bear Lake to Casino Morongo in Cabazon. Thankfully, they took both categories—Ann Lynn was on fire that night. Well, Josh was at least. His car lit up on the way and had to be towed. And Matt? He got a speeding ticket en route.
Things are happening fast for the brothers from the sleepy ski town. Within months of forming, Ann Lynn played shows at DiPiazza's, Chain Reaction and Tangier. Plus, for the month of February, the duo scored their big hipster Monday-night residency at Detroit Bar, which is considered to be a turning point by many groups.
"Music is a blessing and a cure," Matt says about the constant struggles of musicianitis. Both say depression goes hand in hand with rocking. "It's the best time to write, though," he admits. Josh's sardonic love twists dominate Ann Lynn's first EP, What Love's Meant to Be, which hit the streets this month. The band's sound could be compared to the Shins or maybe even a Wes Anderson soundtrack: Bob Dylan, Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie and—reluctantly—Bright Eyes are all on their shortlist of influences.
"There is such a naked honesty with folk music," Josh says. "It's being alone and being able to express yourself through music."
And sometimes, it's hotter than they can handle.
Ann Lynn performs at Detroit Bar, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-0600. Mon., 9 p.m. Free.