Hi RJ & VENTS! I’ve been doing well & keeping busy this Summer! Thank you for having me.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Feels Like Summer”?
It’s the most recent song I wrote for my new record “You & Me & the Sun”. I’m really happy with the way it turned out in the studio, and I feel like stylistically, it could be where I’m headed with the next group of songs.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
I was part of a songwriting challenge group, where we got a one-word prompt every week to be inspired by. I can’t remember what the prompt was that week, but it lead me to explore themes about emotional vulnerability and trust in relationship.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Yes! My friend Jim Hoppin is producing it. I was in NYC for a show a few weeks ago, and we shot the video in Prospect Park (Brooklyn). We’re still working on timing for the video release, but I’m excited to be collaborating with him!
The single comes off your new album You, Me & The Sun – what’s the story behind the title?
It’s the name of one of the songs on the record, and it felt fitting for the title because I think that the record has a summer feel to it. More importantly, a big theme of the record is connection. It made sense to me with Sun’s magnetic energy and expansiveness to chose that as the title of the record.
How was the recording and writing process?
I took a bit of a break from recording to have my son, who just turned 6. Some of the songs I wrote over that span of time, and others I wrote in the year before the recording process began during the songwriting challenge. The recording process was pretty magical. I felt very safe and supported in the people I chose to work with, and it all came together nicely.
What was it like to work with Danny O’Brien and how did that relationship develop?
I am grateful to have met and worked with Danny, and to call him a friend. I was in the process of seeking out a producer, and I was steered towards Danny by a few of my songwriting friends. I think we were both excited to work together after our first meeting, and he was a very grounded (and very talented) presence throughout the process. I think he also understood what I was going for stylistically & sound-wise as well.
How much did he get to influence the album?
It was a collaborative process. We worked out ideas and references in pre-production, and ultimately trusted in the process once we brought the musicians in. Ian Allison (bass) and Grady Kenevan (drums) came in for two days and we did bed tracks. The two of them were instrumental in shaping the sound and feel of the tracks for everyone to work off of. Danny helped steer the ship in the right direction, and had great ideas in the production and mixing phases of the record.
What role does NYC play in your writing?
I lived there for 10 years, and was a part of the Indie scene there. I’m grateful for the experiences and the people I met and worked with. I loved living there, but after a while, I longed for space. There is something about being around that many people all the time that can wear on you. We moved back to my home state of Minnesota in 2016, and I started writing more. It was like the physical space allowed my mind and heart the space for things to flow with more ease.
How Tori Amos and Regina Spektor has influence your music?
I’m definitely a Tori Amos fan. I’ve always loved her vulnerability and the honesty in her lyrics. I also love the imagery she uses. Musically, she takes a lot of chances and isn’t afraid to play with form and experiment with chord changes that might not be traditional in popular music. I wonder sometimes, if that’s because she was classically trained and longs to break the rules a bit? I admire Regina Spektor as well, but I honestly don’t know her work as well.
What aspect of love did you get to explore on this record?
I think I mentioned before that Connection is a big theme of the record. How we connect & what happens when we do. I also explored aspects of Healing, Joy, Hope, Gratitude, & Acceptance.
Any plans to hit the road?
After the release in June, I was in Los Angeles, San Diego, and NYC. I look forward to some shows closer to home coming up, and I’ll head back to NYC in December. We’re looking at another California run – fingers crossed it will happen when us Minnesotans start getting cabin fever late winter!
What else is happening next in Annie Fitzgerald’s world?
Musically, I’ll be playing shows, working on video releases, attending a few conferences, and getting my studio all set up to cocoon a bit this winter and write some new songs. Personally, I’ll be spending as much time as I can with my little guy, before he’s off to Kindergarten in a few weeks. 🙂