Anastasia Coope's Debut Echoes Another Era

Anastasia Coope's Debut Echoes Another Era

Jun 17, 2024

Anastasia Coope's "Darning Woman," the title track from her debut album, sounds like an echo from another time. The delivery, words and spaces in between mirror the type of folk song that could be passed down for generations. Even the backing instrumentation allows room for reverberation, her voice bouncing off the walls around her as she sings "Walk ahead, get thin" in a round.

"I remember that I wrote that song when I was sitting underneath a small table and it was very hot outside," the songwriter tells PAPER. "It is one of the two or three tracks on the album that had pre-written lyrics. I wrote the lyrics as a poem a while before writing the melody, and then one day while reading my notebook, I decided to try singing the poem. The song is probably representative of walking forward and churning progress or something like that."

Sonically, Darning Woman makes perfect sense. It was recorded in a relative's vacant home in Beacon, New York, with Coope experimenting with recording software in an empty living room, embracing the process of creating music in an empty space. The process has resulted in songs that can be heard and felt, evidence of what Coope refers to as "proof of my own focused gaze."

Below, the Brooklyn-based songwriter tells us about Darning Woman, working in different mediums and what she hopes people feel once they've heard her debut album.

Let’s talk Darning Woman. How does it feel to have your debut out in the world?

The record has been a strange center of my life for many years. The form it’s taken as time has gone on is very different than whatever it was to me at its creation. The release of it feels detached, but also offers me a sort of reintroduction between myself and my earlier recordings. I feel relieved that it’s out and feel freed up creatively.

How would you describe the overall energy or message of the album?

I try to focus my gaze on my surroundings and on recent personal happenings to extract a core. I suppose to me, the record serves as proof of my own focused gaze at a point in time.

Your first single, “He’s On His Way Home, We Don’t Live Together,” was released earlier this year. Why did you decide to lead with it? What was the inspiration for the track?

The song, being the first song on the album, felt like a fair introduction to what the project communicates. It also felt the most exciting to tackle cinematically, and making the video for it was important to me when visualizing the campaign of the record. The track was inspired by regal characters and maybe imagined movies about them.

You're also a painter and illustrator. Why do you feel that making art in all its forms is necessary for you?

I like being able to move from one thing to another because it makes the process of making art easier and feel less pressured.

What do you hope people feel and walk away with once they’ve heard Darning Woman?

I hope they feel invigorated by the record and continue listening to it. And maybe after they listen I hope they want to watch a movie.

Photography: Will Lula