The authentic and heart-wrenching sounds of London’s melancholic popsters YOU will send your mind and body into a daydream. It’s a mesmerising vocal set to intricate piano melodies, which couldn’t be more involving or more beautiful. We delve a little deeper into the inner workings of YOU, with vocalist and songwriter Anna Waldmann, who takes us through the songs that inspire her, where it all begin for her as a musician and the music that has impacted her life.
Bitter Sweet Symphonies: Who was the first person to inspire you to pick up an instrument and play?
Anna Waldmann: “My cousin is this amazing Jazz musician and I used to go along to all these amazing gigs that I didn’t understand but it made me want to learn how to so I would know where to clap.”
What was the first instrument you learned to play?
When did you realise that music was your passion and you had to pursue it?
“Actually there wasn’t one filmic moment but I tried not to do music for a little while and realized that I couldn’t.”
Where did you play your first gig?
“One of the first ones was above a pub in Kilburn called the North London Tavern on an out of tune piano. I remember hearing ambulances going by outside whilst I was playing and thinking that they kind of added to the song.”
What has been the definitive record that has made the most impact on your life?
“I really loved Kid A – Radiohead. I used to listen to it all the time. It took me to a totally different place when I was having a hard time. Impact wise I feel like that is no small thing, when you realise that music can be an escape and that you want to try to make music that could maybe do that to a person.
This album is really sad but listening to happy stuff in a sad time would have been a bit out of context and so just because that was my personal experience, I’m really into music that highlights the beauty in sadness or the optimism in sadness or articulates a particular emotion really well.”
What’s your earliest musical memory?
“I used to play violin in an orchestra. Somehow I was in the 1st desk of the 1st violins but I wasn’t good enough to play all the really fast notes so I used to mime.”
Who is your favourite songwriter?
A song lyric that means a lot to me is…
“Sorry I couldn’t decide so I picked quite a few, and some of them are the whole song.
Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence – “Words are very unnecessary”
Cocteau Twins – Wolf in the Breast – “It’s my body. Puzzles the trick in me. I lend it out to borrow, it might survive my baby’s cries.”
Radiohead – Talk Show Host – “I’ll be waiting with a gun and a pack of sandwiches”
Daughter – “Your kisses are a beautiful art, but all I ever wanted was your heart”
I love these too…
A song that describes my current mood/frame of mind at this time is…