The name WHEATS is a childhood nickname as well as an ancient symbol of regeneration and healing. All songs on WHEATS I & II are written by Anna Elise and produced by Josh Reynolds in Nashville, TN.
Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, Elise writes and performs music for a wide range of projects. The former frontwoman of North Carolina punk/garage group Brain F, Elise has shared a stage with musicians and bands across the spectrum of genres, including The Intelligence, White Lung, The Men, Tyvek, G.G. King, and Double Negative. Elise also appears on several other local music projects including NC-based punk band Whatever Brains, Coma League, Push Pals, and Joint D. She's written and performed live with L.A. rapper Joe Crush opening for Talib Kwali and Big Krit, and created several vocal tracks with Chicago footwork DJ Big Hank. She also collaborates frequently with Miami-based performance artist and sculptor Jen Clay, most recently creating the score for Clay's live performance titled "Nearing."
In 2013, Elise returned to Florida for several years and spent time researching the roots of old Florida music and recording a capella versions of traditional local songs. There in 2013 she met and began dating fellow musician Mike Overly. The two formed a local punk act, made poetry and art zines for local events, and wrote songs together. In 2014, Overly passed away from a heroin overdose. The sudden loss of such a close friend and collaborator sparked Elise's interest in binaural beats, sound therapy, and ways of using music to heal from trauma. This combination of research into traditional healing rhythms and historical Florida music led Elise to write the songs that eventually became WHEATS I & II.
The gospel background, long periods of solitude, and the comfort of returning home to the porches and insects of Florida are all present in the musical arrangement and dynamics of the songs on both WHEATS EPs. Inspired by the rich variety of texture, wildlife, plant life, and weather in her hometown, Elise composed the anthemic, folky tunes as a way of healing from and processing tragedy. The instrumental aspects of each WHEATS song mimic the eerie hums and strange nuances of rural Florida, while the lyrical content of each song focuses on healing, love, and gentleness in the face of loss.
Music heals the soul.