With her debut album at the forefront, Anna Shoemaker has prepared herself for the onset of emotions that comes with releasing a project for the first time. Her latest record, Everything is Fine, represents the confidence that she instilled in herself while creating each song on the album. Each track explores themes of growth, showing us the ways she unravelled out of insecurity and transformed into a more self-assured being.
Songs like “Sorry All The Time” and “Sick!” illustrate Shoemaker’s world- the crippling, lonely moments of adulthood and also the joyous, juicy moments that we can’t get enough of. She analyzes her relationship with herself, unpacking the ways she engages with validation. Her work grants us the ability to view ourselves and resonate with the feelings that we suppress. Her perspective reveals that we cannot rely on people for everything to be fine, but we can rely on ourselves, though.
Interviewer: What has your life been looking like as of late?
Anna: I finished my album a couple of months ago and it's gonna come out in March. It was just a lot of learning and figuring out moving parts. I've kind of been writing with some of my friends for their projects.
Interviewer: You're a New York girl. I can only imagine how inspiring it must feel to be in a city where you can draw creativity from everything around you. How has the city impacted the way you make music.
Anna: I was actually just talking about this today because I'm from Philly. When I was in Philly, I would mostly drive to a lot of places. I feel like living in New York, taking the subway everywhere, and walking everywhere has such a different affect on my creativity. There's so much to look at, so much to think about. No one's really looking at you or paying attention to you. At times, I've cried on the subway and no one’s batted an eye at me. I love that.
Interviewer: Your music is very introspective. Tell me about your process of songwriting.
Anna: I think a lot of my writing is just about my life. It's all from my perspective, and I like to go into how it made me feel. I’m very emotional and very sensitive. I'm always overthinking, analyzing, and being like, ‘Oh my god, did I do something weird?’
Interviewer: I'm the same exact way when it comes to overthinking. Like, I hate that. Did you title your new album, Everything is Fine, as a way of reassuring yourself?
Anna: A lot of this stuff is very self-soothing and when I go back and read my journal, a lot of it is very much reassuring myself. I really went through this period of time where I was looking outward for validation. In my dating life, in my music, I was so concerned with ‘Oh, do people like my music?’ Or ‘Does this guy think I look good?’ I've really worked on myself over the past couple of years. I feel like this album is the first time that I wasn't so much asking the label managers for anything else. This is me so you can do what you want with that. It's just me telling myself that everything's fine because you're doing your thing. It doesn't matter if no one likes it. It doesn't matter if people don't get it because you get it. That's all that matters.
Interviewer: With your debut album coming out, how are you feeling?
Anna: I weirdly feel so calm about it. I really fought for the songs that I wanted to be on it and I worked really hard to make them sound exactly how I wanted. I'm not a great producer so I really leaned on a lot of my friends to help me with things. I didn't compromise anything. I just went for it.
Interviewer: “Sorry All The Time” was a standout to me. Tell me about that song.
Anna: I love that song. It bothers me when people are sorry all the time. I don't need you to apologize. Just don't do it. Like what does sorry even mean if you keep doing the same thing. But then it's like kind of this idea of like, I don't want to fight with you, but you're sorry all the time.
Interviewer: In “Sick!” you say that you make better music when you’re sad. Why is that?
Anna: In that specific song, I was going through a bad breakup. I wrote that song in my room. deep in the throes of COVID quarantine. I feel like I've turned it into a coping mechanism. If I'm going through something bad, I can channel it through that. I really do want to work on writing happier. My grandfather was like, ‘Why don't you write anything happy?
Interviewer: As you're understanding your influence and the power of your voice, what's the perspective that you're bringing with this new record?
Anna: I just want people to feel like they're not alone in their feelings. It's so easy to pretend that you live this perfect life. I want people to know that it’s okay to fall apart on the inside. Just speak your truth.