Anne Malin is an alternative lo-fi folk artist born in California, raised in North Carolina, living in Wisconsin, currently studying in Boston, Massachusetts. Malin is not her last name but rather her middle name, utilizing antics she learned growing up in the Southern world of North Carolina. Whenever she meets people she likes to say her name rhymes with Van Halen, just in case they forget what she likes to go by. She’s released two albums independently in 2011 and 2012, both of which are available on iTunes and Spotify. Bog Songs, her upcoming release, will be available very soon via Antique Records. It was a pleasure to talk to Anne Malin and learn more about her, her sounds, and some of her symbols below:
Check out her latest music video here:
Who are you?
AM: I perceive much more than is actually real. Sometimes that is to my detriment, but it also allows me to create freely. So, an eye: (literally/ obviously) always seeing, but not always seeing the literal. Alternately, I could be a sponge, but that seems harder to draw. I’m probably more of a sponge than an eye but a sponge-drawing could end up looking like cheese and that would be unfortunate.
What inspires you?
AM: Sacred spaces and experiences shape my entire being, so my music and writing manifest from that influence. I guess transitively that means I am my music and writing, which makes sense.
What is the ideal setting to listen to your latest album?
AM: So this is about Bog Songs, which isn’t out yet, but will be in early 2014. You either have to be in complete solitude in a really rich ecological environment (i.e., a cave, a bog) or in a crowded airport, train station, or anywhere that evokes stress. In my experience, both solitude and stress provoke introspection, which Bog Songs really encourages the listener to partake in.
What is your spirit animal?
AM: Don’t really know why it’s a polar bear, so maybe it’s not actually a “spirit animal” because my connection with the animal is more through intuition than however you’re supposed to figure out what your spirit animal is, but intuition is fun, so I’m sticking with polar bears.
Draw one or more of your songs.
AM: This haphazardly represents the electronic work my buddy (Wm E Johnson) contributes to a lot of my music. It’s the representation of the underlying stress that provokes the music’s existence. Or, it’s the representation of the fullness I feel when I experience the “sacred.” It really depends on the song.
Draw something that is wrong with the world.
AM: I don’t really know how to draw this, so I’ll just draw a sad face. But seriously, I hate how people are so afraid of being boundlessly compassionate. It’s lessening our ability to live deeply together. I also don’t understand the judgment associated with empathetic or sensitive people because how can you reach full understandings if you’re not allowing yourself to experience very necessary and healthy emotions? Exhibit A: when I moved from North Carolina to Wisconsin in first grade, I tried making friends by going up to everyone in my class and hugging them. At a parent/ student night, this girl went up to my dad and said, “Your daughter hugs people and I think it’s weird.” What are we doing wrong that influences a first grader to judge one of her classmates, to decide “because society/ our parents/ etc tells us” that the act of hugging, of blatant sensitivity is “weird”? We don’t have to go around being cold and acting like we’re superior. By doing so, we lose the chance to develop ourselves and form essential relationships.
What is outside your window?
AM: A lot of snow, but I only have white paper, and that would basically be nothing if I tried to draw it with a green pen, right? It’s winter in Wisconsin, yo, and I don’t really know how to draw snow.
Favorite thing to ingest?
AM: Water is so good. My best friend calls me a camel because I’m always drinking water. That analogy only works so far, though, because I don’t look like a camel.
What is your history with music?
AM: Also don’t know how to draw this, but literally everything. My grandmother was a piano teacher, my aunt sang opera, my cousin is an actress and has a brilliant voice, my brother plays classical piano and organ, my father played guitar, I studied cello for ten years, I grew up singing in church, and I went to a fine arts boarding school (to study creative writing) where most of my musical peers were Juilliard-level musicians. Thank God that’s my life; I don’t know what I’d do without music. It’s weird, though, because I primarily consider myself a writer. That’s what I’ve experienced the most success with (on that note, I’d be eternally grateful if you checked out my chapbook “Like Cleopatra” in June.. or whenever it’s coming out.. forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press!). But music is writing, so it works.
Thank you so much for interviewing me!! This project is rad. And thanks to whoever is reading this. Generally, you’re all rad.
Thank you all again and link up with Anne Malin below: