Anna Shoemaker On Her Debut Album, Being Vulnerable, and More
Laced with intoxicating pop melodies and notably honest lyricism, Anna Shoemaker has been shaking up the industry as an independent artist by creating her own unique sound and style over the years. Born in Philadelphia, the songstress first made her mark releasing viral mashups which eventually led to genuinely pleasing pop-rock songs that exhibit her delicate vocals.
Today, Shoemaker drops her eagerly-awaited debut album aptly titled Everything is Fine (I’m Only on Fire). The 11-song diary sees the New York-based singer breaking out of the bedroom pop world into a more mature sound as she captures the turmoil, charm, and introspection of ever so relatable young adulthood. It’s joined by antecedent singles “Change My Mind,” “Everything is Fine,” and more recently, “Mariah”—a nod to the songbird supreme of the same name. Everything is Fine (I’m Only on Fire) is a full-circle moment for not only Anna but her increasing audience as she explores new, more intentional sounds within her music.
We got the chance to chat with Anna Shoemaker about her debut album, being vulnerable within her music, takeaways from her album, and more. Read on for our conversation.
Everything is Fine (I’m Only on Fire) is a full-circle moment for you in your career, what made now the perfect time to release it coming off the heel of two really amazing EPs?
I’m really ready to put out a longer body of work! It just feels right.
The video for “Everything Is Fine” is a masterpiece and I love how the different visual elements bring it together. Tell us about the experience of putting it together with Josefine.
We had so much fun putting it together. She just really understood my vision from the start and took it to the next level. She’s done pretty much all the visuals for this album so it just feels natural working with her at this point.
The album from beginning to end feels like a sonic diary in a sense, pulling from different emotions and stories that you’ve experienced throughout your life. How do you approach balancing vulnerability, honesty, and privacy in your writing process?
It’s definitely difficult. At first, it always feels a bit vulnerable in a scary way writing something super personal. But then I have to listen to it over and over in production and mixing so I sort of become desensitized, in a good way (usually)! Some songs never lose that scary feeling though. “Mariah” was one of those that I was super anxious to put out just because I was scared of how I’d be perceived. Turns out everyone is as batshit as me!
“Scared of Your Ex” is without a doubt one of my favorite songs from the album—what is it about that song that you think will really resonate with people?
Ahhh that song is one of my favorites too! It’s just a fun bop. That one feels very specific so I hope it resonates! LET ME KNOW!
Elsewhere, songs like “Long Drive Home” and “What Do I Do” seemingly unpeel a lot. What are some struggles and benefits of opening up on songs like this?
I think the benefit is that it’s very cathartic and therapeutic. When it comes to “What Do I Do” though, it hurts to listen back to a song like that. I was in a bad place and I’m happy that’s not where I am anymore but it makes me want to go back and hug the part of me that wrote that song.
I love that there’s this sort of distortion and guitar presence that emphasizes the alt undertones across the project. What would you say were your main musical inspirations for these tracks?
After writing “Change My Mind” with Andreas Stavropolis and “It’s Depression” with Middle Part, I knew I needed to bring that same sort of guitar vibe into the other songs. It just felt really right, especially with “Change My Mind”. I’d say the sound and production of that song changed my entire album.
What do you want listeners to walk away knowing about you after listening to Everything is Fine (I’m Only on Fire)?
That they’re not alone and no one has it together.
Album aside, what are you excited about for the year ahead?
To make more music and play shows!
If you enjoyed our interview with Anna Shoemaker, check out our conversation with TikTok pop starlet KINGS.