If you know Anna Mayberry only as a member of Toronto sludge-punks HSY, you’re in for a surprise with the debut release by her new solo project, ANAMAI. We have the premiere of the self-titled EP streaming above via Buzz Records, and it’s a gorgeous mix of glittery synths, old folk melodies and gauzy shoegaze textures… pretty much the polar opposite of HSY’s claustrophobic noise-rock. But according to Mayberry, they’re two sides of the same coin:
“With HSY, it’s all about filling in space, building noise to an extreme until you can let go," she tells us. "ANAMAI is also about the atmosphere, but it’s about leaving space, letting it rest and breathe.”
Produced by David Psutka of Egyptrixx and Hiawatha, the cassette release accentuates some modern touches – layers of synth drone and accidental noises that had seeped in during the recording – but the melodies, stories and harmonies crib from influences centuries old. Mayberry grew up in a folk community in Toronto, learning traditional English and Irish music and Appalachian folk as part of her musical upbringing.
“I knew all these old folk songs phonetically before I understood the words, from groups of people belting them out in my parent’s kitchen or at the Tranzac [in Toronto]” she says. “When I write songs on my own, this is a tap I can’t turn off.”