(New York, NY) With seductive vocals, dreamy atmospheres, and explosive energy, Anna Sun explores the world through a haze of mystery and romance. Originally the bedroom project of songwriter Samantha Aneson, Anna Sun has since grown into a collaborative trio including drummer Nikola Balac and bassist Andrew “Shwogs” Shewaga, marrying classic pop aesthetics to adventurous modern production. With their self-titled debut EP, the group is announcing the arrival of a vital new voice in indie-pop.
The core of Anna Sun’s appeal lies in the diary-like songwriting of Aneson (pronounced just like the band name). Across its six tracks, the Anna Sun EP manages to capture the triumphs and anxieties of being alive in such a strange time. Sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes heartbreaking, these songs always seem to find an underlying sense of optimism, a reflection of their writer’s personality. LISTEN HERE.
Several of the songs on Anna Sun rip the band-aid off Aneson’s trauma of losing her mother to dementia.
“I’ve grown to love the dichotomy of pain and lightness in art. How one can make the other so much more pronounced,” she muses.
“I was in a place (am forever in a place) of begrudgingly agreeing to this reality that’s been forced upon me. Having to move forward without railing against existence for doing something that once seemed so unimaginable. Having to find light in my nightmare.”
“One Room Away” is the song that Aneson says is the most painful to play. “This song is such a perfect expression of the aching loneliness that comes with losing my mother. She is less and less my mother every time I see her. It is the most painful grief I think I will ever have in my life,” she says. “What A Shame,” pulls no punches, with the repeated line, “All I can say is that it’s a f*ing shame.” “It’s the sentiment I always muster up, when someone tells me they’re sorry for my situation or my pain,” Aneson continues. “Yep. I know. It sucks. I wish it wasn’t happening too. There’s no hope, no optimism. Just acceptance and having to somehow laugh it off or find the normalcy in it. I think it’s a pretty universal experience though, having to ultimately shrug off experiences and parts of life that really f*ing suck.” LISTEN TO “WHAT A SHAME.”
Anna Sun’s songs dig deep into the often tricky dynamics of relationships while managing to remain exceptionally catchy. The EP opener, “Mine,” was Aneson’s self-described “attempt to take the piss out of myself.” As a deeply self-aware writer, she is able to turn her neurosis into something uplifting and almost funny. “It started as a bubblegum love song and turned into this romanticization of codependency.” WATCH “MINE.”
“Mr. Midnight” shines a light in the face of an emotionally distant lover, while “For Better” is a cathartic scream into the universe after a toxic relationship. The EP closes with “Weak,” which dances around the duality of love, making you weak in the knees while giving you strength. “I think that’s why they call love madness, because you’re feeling all of these contrasting emotions at once,” Aneson states. It felt important to end the record with this feeling of satisfaction.
“Underneath all the mania, there’s a deep sense of gratitude for everything. That’s how I feel about life.”
Aneson credits her desire to weave a story bigger than herself to her background in theatre. The Southern California native studied acting at the University of California, Irvine, before relocating to NYC and co-founding the folk-rock band Satin Nickel, which Balać and Shewaga eventually joined. When that group disbanded in 2020, Aneson began adding original indie-pop-rock songs to her repertoire and recruited her former bandmates to bring them to life, and Anna Sun was born.
Making music that is meaningful and accessible is a rare thing these days, but Anna Sun seems to have achieved a perfect formula for their unique brand of expression.
2. For Better
3. What A Shame
4. Mr. Midnight
5. One Room Away