SOUBRETTE is the avant-pop persona of opera singer Nelle June Anderson (music, lyrics, vocals, production). Anderson has toured internationally as a baroque opera soloist with the Bach Society of Minnesota and Juno Award-winning Ensemble Caprice, after having studied voice at Bard College and Oberlin Conservatory’s training program in Italy. In 2020, her music video for original single “Can I Wait,” animated by Matt Semke, was featured on Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current “Friday Five” along with videos from Dua Saleh and Jeremy Messersmith.
SOUBRETTE was developed in a 2018 residency at the Center for Performing Arts in Minneapolis, which culminated in experimental arrangements/translations of Bellini, Poulenc, and Debussy pieces performed with piano, loop pedal, and voice.
A gifted pianist from childhood and a hungry academic steeped in DIY and spiritual esoterica, Anderson’s captivating presence has been recognized in contexts as disparate as film, musical theater, and performance of glossolalia poetry—all of which come out to play in SOUBRETTE.
SOUBRETTE’s original songs swirl operatic references with childish collage, apathy with cabaret kitsch, somatic pulse with anti-beat, clean with dirty. Her muses flirt on the surface in bikinis then free dive into the deep, mining dreams and braving history where it lurks, Anderson’s genre-sovereign voice leading the way.
SUBGENRE: ART POP, AVANT POP, EXPERIMENTAL POP
SOUBRETTE’s debut album, ANY DEAD COQUETTE, was released in July 2021.
THE DEBUT ALBUM
An ambitious and fantastical debut, ANY DEAD COQUETTE invents an archetype and transcribes her dreams.
The collection brings high and low together at every moment: fervent pleas and surreal poetry, lavishly-produced dance tracks and rough-cut voice memos, free-form phrasings and quantized beats, sweeping orchestral arrangements and a sound-play inspired by John Cage’s “Roaratorio,” conceited pride and slutty joy, regret and fate — all mysteriously in agreement under Anderson’s balmy, operatically-trained voice.
ANY DEAD COQUETTE constructs a musical tunnel through pop, New Age, and dark experimental. It’s a slippery, divine-feminine adventure.