Music was in the air when Anne Lee and Paulee Cee met and fell for one another, but she was the one who avoided it until things took a more permanent tone in 2014. For these two…first came love, then came marriage then came a musical formation known as Painter & Poet.
While they wish things were sound from then on out, they were hit with reality when Anna’s health took a turn for the worse in 2017. Anna looked back on last year, saying, “I didn’t have the energy or strength to continue. I was down to the wire on my last efforts to get well and if it wasn’t for the miracle, I wouldn’t be doing music and would be concentrated on simply surviving,” adding, “Now that I am well and have taken a more prominent role in the band, it has fueled many of our song topics and the raw emotion that you may hear in the vocals.”
It’s that raw emotion and overall talent one can hear from both souls that form as one in Painter & Poet on songs like “Busted” and their latest, “Bury Me.” Both were on the table as we talked about their music, their moves and more.
Kendra: You’re based in Texas but spent your summer in Seattle? Other than grunge and riot grrrl in the ’90s, I haven’t heard much about their music scene. What about the Pacific Northwest city made you both choose that as your summer music home?
Painter & Poet: We have family that lives in Seattle and we decided to try it out! It’s a paradise in the summer. We like Allen Stone, The Head and The Heart, and Macklemore who are from there, too. So that got us excited about the music scene even though we never really got to experience it. We were songwriting so much that our social and performing life was basically nonexistent. Now, we just moved from there and are now back in Texas, our home state.
Kendra: For a little fun based off your last single, what was the last thing you were “Busted” for?
Painter & Poet: Well, we could say that we were “busted” when things went sour during our stay in Seattle, so we had to move back to Texas a little earlier than expected, but our heads were still high and we were excited to take on the new season! Things actually turned out more favorable for us despite the downfall of moving.
Kendra: How does “Busted” compare to your latest single, “Bury Me?”
Painter & Poet: The topics are very different. So, “Busted” is about overcoming a broken heart and “Bury Me” is about submitting to the task at hand. In their arrangements, though, they both have similar orchestration in their instrumentation and dynamic rhythm patterns. Both songs experiment with vocal layering, but we are very proud of how “Bury Me” turned out in this area. That ending is super groovy.
Kendra: Will we be hearing these both on an album soon or are you adopting the modern way and releasing steady singles?
Painter & Poet: We are releasing steady singles at this time, but wouldn’t mind turning our collection of singles into an EP.
Kendra: Another one for fun. You’ve said that you appreciate the likes of Dua Lipa, Twenty One Pilots, and Harry Styles. If you had to choose just one to cover, one to duet with and one to tour with – which would you choose for what?
Painter & Poet: Great question! We would like to duet with Harry Styles, Cover Dua Lipa, and Tour with Twenty One Pilots – for sure. Though Anna Lee wouldn’t mind covering Harry Styles and Paulee Cee would be all about covering him on those electric guitar parts. I think us and Harry Styles have very similar musical influences. So playing together or covering him would feel very natural. Twenty One Pilots has such an energetic live performance that we are looking into tickets to experience it for ourselves.
Kendra: What is coming up for you two in the coming months?
Painter & Poet: We are currently working with a producer out of LA with these singles and are hoping to get some type of a deal or start our own label! Whichever comes first. Expect some moves to come in the next 6 months, though! We are certainly on the grind to make a living at playing music together!