Photo by Ford Fairchild
Avery Anna has had, in her own words, “a whirlwind of a year.” 2022 has been a plethora of impressive achievements for the 18-year-old country artist, after two years of steadily growing a following on social media by posting covers sung in her bathtub. After graduating high school in the spring, she signed with Warner Music Nashville and released an EP, and she’s currently on her first tour, supporting Spencer Crandall. For Anna, it’s an impossible dream come true.
In October, Anna released Mood Swings, a seven-track EP that chronicles the highs and lows of Anna’s life. The songs are filled with an impressive honesty that feels reminiscent of one of Anna’s biggest influences, Taylor Swift. Her most popular song is “Narcissist”; originally released as a single in 2021, it’s a sorrowful yet strong reflection on a bad relationship filled with plangent piano and soaring vocals. It’s a song that has resonated with a multitude of people, which is something that Anna has relished. “It’s created such an amazing community of people,” she says, explaining that when she sings it live, she sees people connecting to the lyrics in real time. That’s the strength of her songwriting: her openness about her struggles. The age-old problem of being a teenager is wishing for your struggles to be taken seriously. With music like Anna’s, teens (along with anyone else who’s had their heart broken) can find comfort in the evidence of a shared experience.
That same comfort exists for Anna, too. Most of her songs come directly from her journal, so releasing them into the world can obviously be nerve-wracking. As she’s released music, however, she’s found that being open helps her process her experiences. Says Anna, “Seeing the community that it’s created of people that feel the same way as me has been very comforting, rather than going to my journal for closure and for comfort.”
With some of the songs Anna has released, even she didn’t expect to be so personal. “Biggest t-shirt”, arguably her most vulnerable song, came from an old journal entry that she came across one night. It dives into insecurities that she’s struggled with in the past. “I wrote that song grieving for my past self and realizing a lot of tendencies that I had, like always wearing a big t-shirt and just kind of blocking out the world,” she explains. She credits her writing team with empowering her to open up: “When you’re in the room with the right people and the song’s meant to happen, it just falls out.”
Anna’s appreciation for the people around her is evident. While we’re speaking, she consistently remarks on how they’ve helped her learn and grow. When I ask her about the influences behind her music, she explains, “my mind doesn’t go straight to artists sometimes. Usually, it goes to the closest people in my life, like my mom, the way I was raised, my dad, my sisters, Tina [her manager], my aunts.” Later, while discussing challenges she felt while creating her EP, she emphasizes how supported she felt: “the people that are in your circle make up who you are. And I have a really good circle of people.” Her gratitude for the people around her feels overwhelmingly sincere; it’s clear that she places a high value on maintaining deep connections with the people in her life.
That love of human connection is something she’s carrying with her on tour. She’s enjoying touring right now, relishing the ability to see different parts of the country (although, she adds, it would be nice if they could take a few more days to sightsee). She tells me that although she loves performing, the best part of the night is after she’s done, when she gets to chat with everyone who came to the show.
Tour ends for Anna in early December, but she hopes to do more performing after it’s over. As we’re wrapping up the interview, she teases that she may have some Christmas music coming out soon. Regardless of what she’s working on, Anna is excited for the future. “I feel like being an artist was a dream I never really dared to dream,” she says, “just because it felt impossible.” But now, that dream has come true, and for Anna, it’s just the beginning.