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ANNA O Sweet Symphony


Anna O

“Symphony is about creating something beautiful with your life, and how when we experience that beauty, it can transport us somewhere else.”

Anna O launches her new single, Symphony, this Saturday, December 13, at Amplifier. BOB GORDON reports.

It’s been a busy 12 months for Anna O. Her debut EP, When The Winter Came was released in late March and was followed by a steady run of headline show and tour supports around the country.

There’s also been behind-the-scenes activity to take her into the New Year.

2014 was such a blast for my band and I,” she says. “We played our first East Coast tour; jumped on support for tours with Thelma Plum, Bonjah, Thief and Bec Laughton, and got chosen to play at the Beaufort Street Festival in November.

“In the middle of all of that, I wrote and recorded my second EP, which is set to come out early next year! Recording and releasing, Symphony, has definitely been the highlight for me.

Symphony is the first single from Anna O’s forthcoming second EP, due in March. The song was a later addition to her recent recording work.

“My producer, Rhys Machell, and I set ourselves a massive task and decided to record five songs in five days,” Anna notes. “On the night of day three, I hadn’t settled on the last song choice and sat down to write something new – and that’s where Symphony came from. I’d had the rough idea when I was writing my first EP, but this time I felt like I could actually flesh out the ideas.

Symphony is about creating something beautiful with your life, and how when we experience that beauty, it can transport us somewhere else. In terms of writing, it came together quite quickly, but we spent a fair bit of time on it in the studio. The team I have around me are unreal; Rhys put the bulk of the tune together, with the help of my guitarist, Simeon Nelson. Then it was sent off to Karl Cashwell, who added in all the amazing string parts and some extra ear candy.

“It was so cool hearing each new mix as the song developed and I knew it was the right song to release first.”

With beautifully layered vocals, Symphony hints at where Anno O is headed, but the EP holds even more promise.

Symphony gives the listener somewhat of an idea of the rest of the EP, but we still kept it fairly diverse,” she says. “My sound has taken a turn to more down-tempo electronic vibes, but there’s still similarities in the way I write melodies and use vocal layering and beats. Lyrically, I approached things from more of a storytelling perspective, and co-wrote a couple of tunes with my brother, so you might notice a difference there.”

With growing experience in the studio Anna continues to learn what she can accomplish vocally, both alone and alongside instrumentation.

“The team on this EP is the same crew that worked on When The Winter Came, so there was that element of familiarity which gave me a lot more confidence this time around,” she says. “I really wanted to play around with different colours, vocally, on these recordings, and I love that whether it’s lyrics or harmonic and rhythmic elements, using my voice creates this really distinct sound that only I can create.”

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