“If this is what Gen Z is going to be like musically, I am all in,” Refinery29’s Courtney Smith raved about Brooklyn alt-pop artist Anna Shoemaker in late 2019.
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A year later, the 24-year-old Philly-born singer continues to prove herself a credit to her generation, utilizing the now sounds on her Spotify playlist to create her own compositional style.
“Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Joji and Taylor Swift but I’m also really inspired by a lot of my friends,” she tells American Songwriter. “Hadji Gaviota’s writing is crazy to me I aspire to be as witty and smart as him. My other friend Andrew (Middle Part) just put out a song called ‘Heartbeat’ that I love. I’m also of course inspired by my Invisible Will (the producer of this song), we’re both just always down to try everything and bouncing ideas off each other. I’ll send him the most random references at like 2:00am and he’ll be like ‘word, let’s try something like this.'”
For her latest single “Won’t Make Me Cry,” she and the aforementioned Invisible one, producer Will Baker, Shoemaker put that 2 AM theory to the test by writing the tune in the literal 11th hour when putting together her latest EP Everything Is Embarrassing.
“It was actually at the end of a session working on a different song- we made this in the last 30 minutes,” she explains about the tune. “I remember listening to it on the subway home thinking damn this sounds exactly how I feel right now.”
For Anna, “Won’t Make Me Cry” found its inspiration in her misadventures in the dating world, no doubt encumbered by typical human nonsense.
“I was just feeling like, damn, everyone I date is so dramatic and game-playing, I’m over it,” she laments in reference to penning the song. “You’re not going to make me cry, why can’t we just be cool and real with each other? As a songwriter I feel like I romanticize everything in my personal life, but some days I think to myself, ‘this doesn’t have to be that deep!’ Then there’s a side of me that says ‘yes it does, do it for your art!’ I guess it’s an attempt at protecting yourself from people who negatively affect you.”
Yet there is one consistent positive force in Shoemaker’s universe, that being Mr. Baker, whom she attributes as a key component to the distinctive sound they’ve created with not only “Won’t Make Me Cry” but the entirety of the Everything Is Embarrassing EP on the whole.
“I always tend to write my best in the studio with Will,” she tells American Songwriter. “He and I are very similar I feel like he understands me and my creative process more than most people. We spend a lot of time together so I guess that makes sense—I just feel safe enough to take risks and mess up so I think good things come from that.”