Anna Anise

For fans of: The Maes, First Aid Kit, Case/Lang/Viers, Punch Brothers

Storytelling songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Anna Anise released debut album All That Magic on 10 Dec 2021 via Bristol-based alt-folk label Cuculi Records, preceded by a secret single drop of ‘Regrets’ on Friday 3 Dec. 

The result of two years’ focused dedication, the ten tracks on All That Magic reflect the changing experiences of women over time, alongside intimate perspectives on her own life as a woman in the 21st century. “I’ve been getting into the flow of writing a song a week to get through to the good stuff, often inspired by the characters in books I’ve read or stories I’ve heard. I’m interested in the complexity of the human experience, empathy, and how we find our own voice within the constructs of our society. This album asks some of those questions – about culture and truth, learning about yourself, learning about others, feminism, consumerism and family.”

Anna has drawn together an impressive core of emerging talent to produce the album, including fellow students from Bristol’s contemporary music school BIMM. Among the predominantly female & LGBT team, co-producers Beth Butcher & Bethany M. Roberts worked alongside Anna to fulfil her creative vision. Anna’s striking voice is centred within a sparkling, dynamic landscape of guitar, mandolin, banjo, strings, piano and drums. The imaginative vocal harmonies are a highlight across the album, reminiscent in mood and structure of First Aid Kit and The Staves. Across the album, Anna charts a complex journey of introspective contemplation and rousing political statements, connecting the various dots of her experience through witty lyrics and profoundly relatable vocal delivery, from the heartfelt choral layers of ‘To Be Adored’, right through anticapitalist anthem ‘Midas Touch’. 

Second single ‘Regrets’ is a jaunty, stomping whirlwind of satire and sobriety, decorated with an iridescent violin line that would feel at home in a pub folk session. One of the album’s most upbeat – and personal – songs, Anna explains that ‘Regrets’ is about “the Jekyll & Hyde of our drinking culture. It’s an ode to remind those struggling with regret that they aren’t alone in their feelings, and that it will pass. But it’s also a reminder that it isn’t their fault – alcohol, and the culture around it, can be a tough thing.” The track melts into an immersive meta-moment, as the audience of Presence Open Mic (where Anna met co-producer Roberts) join in the earworm chorus from Aesop’s pub garden in Bristol.