I fell in love with Star Anna’s music back in 2011 just before the release of Alone in This Together. Her voice was captivating, powerful, raw and beautiful and harsh and soft all at once. And it oozed emotion. I went to five or six shows in a matter of months, listened to songs like “Alone in This Together”, “Wolves in Disguise”, “Spinning My Wheels”, and “Running Man” over and over while driving all around Seattle. I was sure she was this city’s next big thing.
But then I got busy finishing my first book. I joined Sightseer and didn’t get out as much to see and write about other bands, and in a kind of way, I stopped being a fan of Star’s. I’m not sure why. I held on to my love of Alone in This Together, but I wasn’t motivated to check out her newer stuff. Maybe I was too busy. Maybe I was afraid I wouldn’t like her new stuff as much, afraid that it would somehow diminish what I’d felt when I heard that awesome voice. Maybe I was rooted to a moment in the past and too stubborn to step forward.
I was an idiot.
Watching Star perform only feet away from me in the Critical Sun studio a couple weeks ago and hearing that voice again brought back those same feelings I had when I first saw her live with the Laughing Dogs at some bar on Bainbridge Island, when “Alone in This Together” leaped from its quiet beginning to those big chunking chords accented by the drums. I looked up from my notebook a little startled, a little excited, “Whoa.” I did the same in the studio when she played that song. I wasn’t startled, but I was mesmerized, and I said it again even though there was no band this time, only her and an acoustic—and Forrest of course—and when those chords were supposed to come in she slipped quietly into the verse as if those big chords had never existed at all, but she still somehow retained all their power, “We’re gonna make it out, make it out alive…” and so I said it, “Whoa.” I closed my eyes as she was playing and let the sounds carry me away. And afterward I knew that I’d never stop being a fan of Star’s.
And if you are not already, you should be. Her new stuff is just as good. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to her play and talk about making music.