Pop/R&B singer-songwriter and producer Anna Thoresen releases her new single, “Party Girl’s Lament,” a track lifted from her forthcoming debut EP, slated to drop at the end of the year.
Speaking about “Party Girl’s Lament,” Anna Thoresen says, “It comes from a very vulnerable, personal place that I don’t speak about often, but screams through my music. It’s about addiction, anxiety, and being in a dark place, and everyone around you is not too different, yet no one really talks about it. Addiction is way more common than we think, especially with underage high school and college kids, and nobody talks about it without feeling shame or guilt. I’d like to break the stigma by speaking on my own experiences.”
Originally from New Jersey, and now based in New York City, Anna fell under the spell of music and performing when she was 10 years old, participating in musical theatre and choir. Later, in college, she recorded her first single, “I Think This Is Love?”
Anna’s sound merges bedroom pop, alternative R&B, and eloquent lyricism into luscious sonic concoctions, full of vulnerability and profound emotions. Her alluring, sultry voice elevates her music to the realm of superlative.
CelebMix spoke with Anna Thoresen to discover more about the person behind the music, her influences, and her writing and recording processes.
What three things can’t you live without?
This is honestly a really hard question because I’m super indecisive, but I guess I’d have to say definitely my laptop, Taki’s, and Aquaphor. If I didn’t have my laptop I couldn’t make my music; if I didn’t have Taki’s I don’t know what I would do and if I didn’t have Aquaphor I’d be crusty, so I feel like I have to go with those three things.
What inspired your new single, “Party Girl’s Lament?”
It honestly all kind of came together by accident. My friend Matt sent me the guitar loop that’s used in the song, and I instantly fell in love with it. It had this vibey, sad feel that I really loved and so, I went through my journal of poems and lyrics that I have and I found a couple of different lines in different songs that I felt went together well, I changed some things around and I ended up with the first verse and chorus, and I had to keep going. A lot of the songs I write are about love or addiction so it wasn’t too difficult to pull from different songs and poems of mine.
Walk us through your mindset as you entered the studio to record the album.
So I actually record all of my music at my desk at home, I’ve recorded inside of a real studio before. Since I’m the producer there’s really no pressure for me to get anything done in a certain amount of time and I get to be really nitpicky with my vocals to make sure they sound exactly how I want. I’ve also never worked with another producer before, so my mindset going into this was really just to have fun and make something that I liked and was proud of.
“Party Girl’s Lament” is from your upcoming debut EP. What can you share about the EP?
I can say that I’m going to be producing/writing it and I plan to release it by the end of 2022, and I can say that you can expect a new pop/R&B sound with a lottt of harmonies. You can expect me to write about similar themes to ‘Party Girl’s Lament’ and my first single, “I Think This Is Love?”
How did you get started in music?
I’ve always loved music and wanted to be a singer, but I never actually pursued that dream until almost two years ago now. I did musical theater most of my life and went to school for acting so I had been focusing on that side of the entertainment world for a while, but I got tired of it after a while and started to write music to give myself a break. I ended up loving it way more and now I’m finally starting to pursue music and I could not be happier doing it.
Which singers/musicians influenced your sound?
This one is tough because there are honestly so many artists that I really look up to and feel they influenced my sound. Around the house, my mom would play a lot of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and other iconic jazz artists and my dad loved to listen to ‘80s rock bands like Journey and The Police. Even though neither of my parents sings they did a really great job of giving me a good musical education, they had me listen to a lot of different genres of music growing up and showed me all of the iconic artists and songs from the past. Now I would say I’ve found some of my own influences, like Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse, Alanis Morissette, Janis Joplin, and so many more.
If you had to explain your sound to the uninitiated, what would you say?
I would say that my sound is a mix of pop and R&B, and I sing about things that are really important to me. My songs are vibey and chill, and the goal with my music is to have a new sound with a nostalgic feel. I hope that comes across in my music when people listen.
Did your sound evolve naturally, or did you deliberately push it in a certain direction?
I would say that I evolved it naturally and that it’s still evolving. I’ve actually tried to push my sound in a completely different direction multiple times just to figure out what my sound even was, and every time I’ve come back to the same thing. I think it’s important especially when you’re first starting out to experiment with all different kinds of genres of music and sing different things just to see what you like the best for you and your voice. Something I learned is that usually, the music you’re the most drawn to is the music that best suits you, and when you go with the flow and let yourself have fun in the process you’ll make so many discoveries about yourself.
What inspires your writing? Do you draw inspiration from poems, music, or other media?
I’m inspired by everything around me. Music, movies, art, things I see on social media, and even just going outside for 20 minutes something can happen that inspires my writing. I like to just keep an open mind and not judge myself when I write. I like to tell myself that nothing is set in stone, so I try not to put pressure on myself to get the final draft in the first go. My favorite thing in the world besides singing is writing, and I feel like it is such a great form of self-expression. It helps me clear my head and I realized that the more I let myself go and write whatever I’m feeling, the deeper and the better my writing starts to get. Also challenging yourself and writing about something or someone you normally wouldn’t, can be really fun, anything to push yourself out of your comfort zone is great.
What can you share about your writing process?
When I write I either just come up with a few lines/a general idea and come back to it later, or I end up just word vomiting almost like a journal entry just so I can get the idea and feeling out of me and I refine it later. As I said earlier, I like to keep an open mind when I’m writing because I find that things flow easier to me now that I trust myself. There are a lot more songs in my journal/on my phone that will never see the light of day than there are songs that I’ll actually release, so I don’t get too discouraged when I have writer’s block, or something doesn’t turn out like I thought it would. When it comes to melodies, I usually come up with them after I have some kind of instrumental, and I do the same thing that I do with my lyrics. I try out different melodies and I see what flows, and sometimes I end up changing things far into the writing process just because I’ll find something that I feel sounds better.
Which artists in your opinion are killing it right now?
I feel like there are honestly a lot of artists that are doing really well right now, I just saw Alanis Morissette in concert a few weeks ago for her Jagged Little Pill 25th Anniversary Tour and she was absolutely mind-blowing. I think that for someone who is a mom of three and has been performing for over 25 years that her voice was in such great condition, and she sounds the same live as she does on the album. Also, I think Remi Wolf doesn’t get as much credit as she deserves, I love her music and I look up to her a lot. And obviously Beyonce, ‘Renaissance’ is absolutely insane.
How do you define success?
I define success as doing what you love for a living and having a happy and balanced life outside of that. I don’t think being the most famous person in the world means you’re successful, quite honestly, I think being famous is the same thing as just being popular, and I don’t think that being popular makes you successful, it just makes you popular. My dream is to be able to perform and make music for a living and still be able to maintain a balanced social and family life.
What can listeners look forward to over the next six months? New material? Live gigs? Videos?
Listeners can look forward to a new EP by the end of the year, some covers over on my YouTube channel, and some live gigs coming up in the future! I’ll be sure to announce everything that I do on my social media accounts so make sure to keep an eye out for that. Look forward to surprises too!