Former Irrepressibles member, Anja McCloskey’s debut album ‘An Estimation,’ was reviewed by the Daily Express (Sunday 16th), recieving an amazing 4/5
Click on the picture to read the full article on the Daily Express website.
Southampton folk musician Anja McCloskey will be headlining Another Lazy Sunday at Hoxton Bar and Kitchen this weekend.
A former member of The Irrepressibles and Haunted Stereo, Anja is preparing to release her debut album ‘An Estimation’ in September following a full UK tour this summer.
For more information on the show, see the event page here.
On August 27, acclaimed German-American artist Anja McCloskey releases ‘Instigate It’, the fourth single from her debut album ‘An Estimation,’ out September 3.
The lead single ‘Instigate It,’ which Anja calls her ‘funeral song,’ features a simple warm video, shot indoors during a rainstorm. “It’s upbeat, but it is a farewell song, with devastating lyrics which have a lot of personal meaning to me.”
Ambitiously ‘Instigate It’ will also come with five different B Sides, to be released weekly in the month prior to release. Anja has enrolled friends and label mates to each contribute a remix or cover of the track, which includes interpretations from Etao Shin, Johnny5thWheel&thecowards, The Middle Computer, Lonely Joe Parker and rude_NHS. Each track will be premiered on Anja’s facebook page.
Built around Anja’s trademark accordion, the album ‘An Estimation’ embodies elements of folk, classical, alternative and traditional music. “Not all my songs are intrinsic personal stories, but the emotions are personal. I am most alive when I feel, so I tend to be either extremely happy or very down when I write my songs. That’s definitely reflected in my music.”
Anja is already a relative veteran of the music scene, having gained a raft of experience playing with avant-garde performance orchestra The Irrepressibles and folk-rock trailblazers Haunted Stereo (also on Sotones),with whom she composed ‘Cross the Sea,’ another Q Magazine Track of the Day, before going solo in 2010. “It’s been extremely liberating,” says Anja. “The dynamics in a band are very different. I can now be my own boss and live out my unstoppable German energy, crazy schedules and organisation attacks!”
On 3rd September 2012, acclaimed German-American artist Anja McCloskey releases her debut album ‘An Estimation,’ a 12-track collection overflowing with bold arrangements, punchy instrumentals and Anja’s haunting vocals, recorded entirely in a Georgian Quaker Hall in Southampton.
Built around Anja’s trademark accordion, ‘An Estimation’ embodies elements of folk, classical, alternative and traditional music, as it moves effortlessly between moments of darkness (‘And Her Head’), drama (former Q Track of the Day – ‘A Kiss’) joy (‘Italian Song’) and beauty (‘Sunset No.73’).
“Not all my songs are intrinsic personal stories, but the emotions are personal. I am most alive when I feel, so I tend to be either extremely happy or very down when I write my songs. That’s definitely reflected in my music.”
Other highlights include the piano-led ‘Buddenbrooks,’ inspired by the Thomas Mann novel of the same name, and new single, ‘Instigate It,’ which Anja calls her ‘funeral song.’ “It’s upbeat, but it is a farewell song, with devastating lyrics which have a lot of personal meaning to me.”
Anja’s own favourite, the beguiling ‘Tornado,’ is dramatic but slow-paced, working its way up to a dissonant violin outro, followed by the contemplative ‘Quite Low,’ with its smouldering vocals. And don’t miss ‘Blinded By Blue’ which plays on classic French Musette waltzes, written after an awkward encounter in Paris, and ‘Ivory,’ one of the album’s oldest songs, originally a Haunted Stereo demo, which later featured on Anja’s 2010 EP, ‘Turn Turn Turn.’
“I ponder over my songs for months, sometimes years,” says Anja. “I write very quickly, so they’re often very raw. I then record demos and arrange parts for other instruments. Eventually when I listen to it recorded, I feel such relief that I’ve got it from my head to a stereo.”
Anja is already a relative veteran of the music scene, having gained a raft of experience playing with avant-garde performance orchestra The Irrepressibles and folk-rock trailblazers Haunted Stereo (also on Sotones), with whom she composed ‘Cross the Sea,’ another Q Magazine Track of the Day, before going solo in 2010. “It’s been extremely liberating,” says Anja. “The dynamics in a band are very different. I can now be my own boss and live out my unstoppable German energy, crazy schedules and organisation attacks!”
Anja chose to stick with Sotones, loving the creative freedom and camaraderie of an independent label, releasing her first solo EP ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’ in 2010, before embarking on her first ever US tour. She has since released three acclaimed singles, ‘And Her Head,’ ‘A Kiss’ and ‘Italian Song’. All three have been accompanied by stunning videos directed by Gillian Sore, on board again for the new single ‘Instigate It’, currently being filmed in Southampton. Anja also recently worked with artists Joe McDonald and James Crawford on a stop motion animation for understated B-Side ‘Black Coffee’. Check out all Anja’s videos HERE.
And finally, as an artist ‘impossible to pigeonhole’ (This is Fake DIY), where would Anja herself place ‘An Estimation’? “Well, in HMV the categories have been reduced to dance/urban, jazz, classical, rock&pop and other. So, I would have to choose other. I can’t possibly see myself in rock or pop. Though if I had a choice I’d put myself in alternative. Or maybe my dual citizenship qualifies me for world music…?”
Find out more about Anja here.
Anja McCloskey returns this Monday with her brand new single, ‘Italian Song,’ the third track to be taken from her upcoming debut album ‘An Estimation,’ out September 3rd on Sotones Records.
Led by Anja’s rousing accordion, and buoyed by Joseph Kelly from Etao Shin on double bass, Ben Jennings on violin, Andy Harris on electric guitar, and Brad Walters on acoustic guitar, ‘Italian Song’ is Anja’s most playful release to date, with its up-tempo arrangements, and what Anja calls a “bonkers instrumental outro.”
“The song is about going slightly mad in the summer heat and losing rationality along the way,” says Anja. “I wanted the music to reflect that. So it’s unusually upbeat for me with a touch of adrenalin in the choruses. It’s a great song to play live.”
‘Italian Song’ is out on Monday. You can catch Anja performing live at bookshops across the UK in June.
1st June – Peter Rhodes Bookshop, Southampton
3rd June (5 – 7pm) The Big Green Bookshop, Wood Green,London.
4th June – Oxfam Music, Leeds
5th June – Next To Nowhere, Liverpool
6th June – ORT Cafe, Birmingham
Former Irrepressibles member Anja McCloskey has confirmed she’ll be playing Islington’s Union Chapel next month, to celebrate the release of her new single ‘A Kiss,’ as recently featured on Q’s Track of the Day.
Check out the video:
And coming soon… a beautiful stop animation video for ‘A Kiss’ B-Side – ‘Black Coffee,’ animated by artist Joe McDonald.
Anja plays as part of Union Chapel’s free Daylight Music Sessions, Saturday 18th February from 12pm.
Following the fantastic And Her Head, released earlier this year, our lovely Southampton-based singer Anja McCloskey is back with a brand new single, ‘A Kiss,’ – featuring backing vocals from Thomas Tantrum’s David Miatt.
It’s not out until January, but we can give you an exclusive listen right here:
Anja is currently filming the video for ‘A Kiss,’ for which she promises they’re pulling out all the stops. “Whilst the last video was a very natural affair, this new one will be more performance based. We will be in costume and full make-up, and some band members may even get to be seduced by our evil protagonist….” Anja is also working with artist Joe McDonald on a stop motion animation for understated B-Side ‘Black Coffee.’ Watch this space for news on both.
In the meantime the previous video for And Her Head is worth a peek here.