14.5 Nona Marie Invie: She Does Music / by Elaine Sheldon


Curated by Sarah Ginsburg

I come across a lot of talented musicians every year atTrue/False Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri, but this one is special. Back in 2012, when I was confused and in college, I saw Nona Marie Invie perform with her band Dark Dark Dark and I’m not even kidding, from that moment on, things changed. Her voice and musical talent helped me tap into these feelings of sorrow and hope and longing and strength all at the same time. She sings, plays the piano and the accordion in Dark Dark Dark and is the leader of Anonymous Choir, a 16-piece all women’s choir that recontextualizes songs we all know by Neil Young, Kate Bush, and Leonard Cohen. Nona is not afraid to bend and experiment, exemplified by her project Fugitive, electronic, drone compositions brought to unique spaces like a yoga studio in Mexico. RONiiA is her most recent synthpop project that maintains a warmth through Nona’s unmistakeable voice. All of these projects are different and Nona doesn’t leave any of them behind, she just shifts her weight around and lets things change. Like I said, things changed for me after I first heard Nona and things might change for you after you give her a listen. Go ahead, find out.


What do you love most about making music? People tell me about when they’ve listened to my music in hard times or in good times or how it's helped them or affected them in these different ways. That feels really special and important to me and when I don't tour, when I go through periods of not performing, I realize that I miss that connection in the world, because I'm not that good at social media or calling people back a lot of the times. It's nice to be out there in the world and to know that people are hearing me and they're interested and they're processing it in whatever ways that may or may not be helpful for them, but that kind of connection or interaction feels important.

How does working with a group of women in Anonymous Choir compare to playing with Dark Dark Dark, where you are the only woman? The whole vibe is different when I'm surrounded by women. Just the way that we interact with each other and the things that we talk about are just sort of innately different than being the only woman in a group of 4 or 5 men. And the men in Dark Dark Dark are great, but there's just -- they’re not necessarily giving each other back rubs and asking about each other's days. There's differences too because with Dark Dark Dark, we were on tour all the time and so we were in this deep relationship with each other. We were more like family where we spent months at a time sleeping in the same room and being in the car all day and playing this intensely emotional and personal music. I think the way that we were with each other was more like sibling kind of. We really loved and appreciated each other but also needed space. And with the choir, we'll take little tours but it's not really like that. So every time we're together it feels really special and I think everybody brings everything that they can to the room with them; all their energy and all the good vibes and that always feels really nice.

What would you like people to know? I guess mostly, I just want people to, people who are playing music, I just want them to keep trying and keep playing and keep doing whatever they want to do. All of us struggle with figuring out how to balance the mundane things like paying for rent and trying to lead creative and inspired lives and I just know that if you keep working at it you'll figure it out. That's what I wish I had heard more throughout my life.



LISTEN: Dark Dark Dark   Anonymous Choir  RONiiA  Fugitive

WATCH: FLOOD TIDE (Feature w/ Dark Dark Dark as cast & soundtrack)

Anonymous Choir performs Tonight (You Belong To Me)

READ: RONiiA Updates via Minneapolis label Totally Gross National Product