Anamon are a band from Rochester, New York which revolve around the songwriting of Ana Emily Monaco. Their debut album, Stubborn Comfort, comprises of songs initially written and performed solo by self-taught guitarist and pianist Monaco, but was fleshed out and elevated by the recruitment of drummer Aaron Mika and bassist Benton Sillick. We wrote about the title track back in September, calling it “a hybrid of folk and rock infused with an empty house ennui and pressing immediacy […] a raw and intimate sound that plays like the airing of grievances in private, perhaps a rehearsal or else some cathartic release.”
The Anamon sound draws from a range of influences, rich country, dusty Americana and ragged punk coming together in a manner that sounds at once warm and intense, powerful and infectious. Recorded in a single night on an 8-track tape recorder (with some help from Sam Snyder), Stubborn Comfort is wonderfully unfussy and immediate, unfurling into something surprisingly raw and personal, what the band describe as “poignant vignettes of heartbreaks and dreamscapes that draw on… personal experiences over the last several years.”
We’re delighted to share the album in full a few days before release, and the band have kindly provided a track-by-track listening guide, so that you can really dig into the the songs and their themes. Have a listen and read below:
Words from Anamon
All but one of these songs were written by Ana Emily Monaco over a few years punctuated by deep depressions, set off by heartache and confusion. As a human in their mid to late twenties is oft to experience. The content throughout the album can mostly be characterized as either about heartaches, or inspired from dreams. It sounds pretty heavy, but you’ll find little quirks and quips to bring some levity, and a knowing that in the grand scheme of things, we can always step back and smile about it. Most of the song forms were already written as a solo performance. Aaron and Benton added drums and bass, respectively, when Ana decided to start a band, and really knew just what to do. It came together quickly and seamlessly as an ensemble. The style of the music was already dripping and thick, and it was almost a feeling of knowing the “right thing” to play was there all along.
‘Kneel Old’ – This is one of those dream tracks. It fell out of me. I vividly remember water falling into my throat and still being able to breathe, and even to speak clearly. I felt helpless at the time, punching air and never getting there. There are some cryptic astrological aspects to this song that I really enjoy. This song felt classic like a Neil Young song, so we called it Kneel Old. This is a theme for songs we’ve put together that had no title. In practice someone will say “This song sounds like _____” and we come up with a childish play on words. Then it just sticks. Because really, who cares what the song is called.
‘Fast Car’ – This was one written in the middle of disarray towards the end of a relationship. It didn’t take, and we got back together. And I’m still dumbfounded by that. Again: “The beginning sounds like that Tracy Chapman song.” And there you have it.
‘SMASH’ – “Smash” was inspired by a friend who thinks the earth is flat, but that only goes so far. This was the first fully collaborative song we wrote as a band. Ana just had the opening riff (“That sounds like it could be Smash Mouth”) and the rest of the song just fell out. Just think for yourself. Also, Danzig.
‘The Magician’ – Another one inspired by a dream. Pretty straight forward. I wrote this with the help of my dear friend and cousin, Matthew McGarry. Matthew, Aaron and I played in a band called The Loogies many years ago. We played this at a show in the abandoned subway system underneath downtown Rochester and it was one of the coolest shows I’ve ever played.
‘FOOL’ – My good friend Olga and I wrote this one when we were in a band called Big Brain & The Drug Cartel back in 2012 (?). It was inspired by little boys who were reckless and unknowingly oblivious… not much has changed. Be transparent.
‘Queen’ – I loved them, they never loved me. It was a lesson. We love playing this one. Who doesn’t love a good shuffle.
‘Bird’ – I was having fun and it felt good. A lighter song compared to some others. It is very simple, but sometimes it sneaks up on us and becomes one of our favorite songs to play live.
‘Stubborn Comfort’ – As a Taurus, I’m highly aware of my stubbornness. It’s comfortable, it keeps me tucked in. Like a glass of SOCO. This could be a conversation with myself, but it’s still applicable to a lot of my life. It was inspired by someone who told me I’m hard to be friends with. I disagree with her. I was in turmoil though because I’m SO sensitive and didn’t understand how someone could say this. It came to me in a dream.
‘Country Classic’ – I can be whoever you need me to be, as long as I agree to it. Another unrequited love song. This song started off as just a tongue-in-cheek nod to classic country and western music, but it’s truly one of my favorites.
Stubborn Comfort is out on the 10th November and you can grab it from Bandcamp.