Anna Shoemaker’s life revolves around music. She considers it her primary form of therapy. “For me, writing is the most important thing in my life. It’s really the only way I know how to clear my head,” she says. Her lyrics are a free flowing stream of consciousness. You just can’t force what might be moving you on a given day. “I don’t generally set out with something specific to write – every time I do that it comes out too on the nose. I just write whatever comes to my mind and it almost always ends up being about something I’m processing in some way, consciously or not.” She feels grateful to be absorbing her experiences, as well as the knowledge of her collaborators. “I think the ups and downs definitely give you more to write about. I think also working with other people has helped me to grow as an artist. You know that saying ‘never be the smartest person in the room?’ That’s me in the studio.”
Her new single touches on a painfully familiar scenario: going back to a person everyone else in your life hates. “‘Holly’ is about re-trusting the same toxic person and losing credibility with your friends because of it,” Anna explains. “I wrote it with Constantine in Long Island this summer and then we recorded it at Red Convertible Recording in Brooklyn.” The video took the unusual creative turn of featuring a gaggle of goats. “I just like how awkward they are, I can relate to that. I love a juxtaposition like that. This song is very reflective, it’s not an in-the-moment thing. I wanted it to feel like I was telling a story and sort of had already moved on from the drama. (Ideally living away from everyone on a farm with goats!)” Heartbreak is best dealt with with a shoulder to lean on, be it human or animal. “I write a lot and talk everything out with my best friend. It really just takes time.”
“Holly” acts as a cautionary tale to trust your gut. “When people show you who they are, you should listen to them,” Anna urges. “At the end of the day, words only mean so much.” Moving on from these unhealthy relationships is no easy task. Sometimes it’s necessary to take a hard look in the mirror. “It’s really hard and different for everyone. For me, I had to do a lot of work on myself and realize I was part of the problem.” Start living for yourself and stop stalking their feed! Anna echoes, “You have to get to a point of indifference (aka you have to stop looking to see if they watched your IG story!).” Only you can put toxicity in the rear view mirror. Anna is giddy for the future, teasing, “I have a lot of new music coming over the next couple of months.” We will be waiting!
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Anna Shoemaker Reconnects with That Toxic Ex Everyone Hates in New Single, “Holly.” Photo Credit: Erica Snyder.