Anna Vogelzang: Declaration Of Independence


Anna Vogelzang continues to do it her way

According to singer/songwriter Anna Vogelzang, she had no alternate career path.

“There was no other option,” she says from her home in Madison, Wisc. “Everybody in my family is musical. I’ve been playing guitar and singing my whole life, first in a punk band in high school, then as a performing songwriter. ”

Vogelzang has just returned from SXSW, where she gigged, saw a lot of inspiring music and participated in the Artists As Labels symposium. “I spoke about being on my own label,” she says. “What artists can do to remain independent and when it makes sense to move on to being with a label.”

Her latest album, Hiker, is her 10th for her own label, Paper Anchor. It was recorded live, in one week, with bass player and producer Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco, Andrew Bird) and drummer Shane Leonard (Field Report).

“Before this, I always produced or co-produced my records,” says Vogelzang. “It felt good to let go of the reins and surrender to the songs. We had one day to rehearse and work out arrangements. We made notes with ideas about instruments and tempos, then played together, each in our own booth, looking at each other, like a live gig. There are little imperfections in the music, but that’s what makes the album special. All three of us were in the moment, capturing the emotions of the songs.”

Hiker has a wide-open, expansive sound, with layers of acoustic and electric guitars, bass, kalimba, banjo, percussion and keyboards weaving a sparkling sonic tapestry to support Vogelzang’s warm, silky vocals.

“The songs explore the animal nature of human beings and our drive to keep moving forward, despite the obstacles in our way,” she says. “I wanted to make music that puts you in visual space, surrounded by the sounds and sights you experience outside of the city.”

—j. poet; photo by Anda Marie