Artist: Anna Lynch
Hometown: Sebastopol, California
Latest Album: Apples in the Fall EP
Release Date: March 13, 2020
Personal nicknames (or rejected band names): My name is pretty short so I have never really had a nickname… although when trying to get my attention both my mother and friends will use my middle name. Nothing quite like hearing someone yell “Margarita!” across a room. My middle name is really Margarita, and it was my grandmother’s first name.
Which artist has influenced you the most … and how?
Patty Griffin, hands down. I heard a song that was included on some American folk compilation in high school, then bought her 1000 Kisses album and walked the tiny streets of my hometown crying about some boy who didn’t love me back while simultaneously begging the universe to let me be her when I grew up and moved away from that town.
What’s your favorite memory from being on stage?
Honestly, though I have been on stage a lot, the memory that will be with me forever is playing the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley with my dad when I was 5. My dad was always a musician and performed a lot. Being a kid I just thought he hung the moon and jumped at the chance to perform my favorite Bob Reid song at the open mic my dad played every week.
We had agreed to split the words, until dad, mid-song, left me hanging to finish the song by myself. I remember being angry he didn’t feed me the words like he said he would, but then I remember the crowd cheering and feeling proud of myself. Call it an addiction, a bug, a calling. My dad knew exactly what he was doing. He probably created a monster.
What other art forms — literature, film, dance, painting, etc — inform your music?
I am secretly a huge WWII history buff. My great uncle was in the war and left me with an amazing curiosity for the life he lived before I met him. He was also a lifelong artist, and though most of his works were abstract paintings, while he was in the war he would sketch the people and scenery around him. We have notebooks upon notebooks of sketches he made during that time; some are even made on the backs of old maps. In a weird twist of interest I have started embroidering these sketches. It’s relaxing in a way and also a way to connect with him a bit.
What’s the toughest time you ever had writing a song?
Oh man, the ones you haven’t heard yet… Songs are like little word children you let into the world, some you wish you had worked on more before you let them out into the big scary world, some come out as they should and some just don’t see the light of day.
How often do you hide behind a character in a song or use “you” when it’s actually “me”?
I have written a few “story” songs. I use them as more a vehicle than anything. It is really hard to create an emotive work and perform it like a song, like a conversation, if you come right out of the gate saying, “Hi, my name is Anna, I’m a little depressed but that’s OK, also I love walking on a beach for hours alone, hoppy beer, sad songs, staying up late, waking up before anyone else in the house, WWII documentaries, dark jokes, old wood, playing acoustic bass, strong coffee, cotton sweaters, salted butter, gas stoves, handmade mugs and watching who splits the last cookie on the plate in half….” Not exactly a place to start a conversation. I use story songs as a sort of place to hide real things in plain sight. I hide little bits to make it both more “palatable” for me and more relatable to an audience.
Photo credit: Jessie McCall – Little Green Eyes Media