I’ll never admit it to his face but my little brother has really good taste in music. I can’t count the number of times he has taken control of my Spotify account while we drive to brunch or dinner and puts something on that intrigues me. Anna of the North is one of those things. We were driving to dinner when he put it on and after the obligatory “This may not be your cup of tea” comment, he pushed play and I fell head over heels within seconds. Sometimes a band or musician that he shows me turns into nothing more than a flash in the plan in the ever evolving playlist of my life but not Anna of the North. Something about her stuck with me so when I realized she was playing at The 7th Street Entry, I just couldn’t resist.
Baton Rouge based rapper Quadry was the one and only opener on the bill and although he seemed to catch the young audience a bit off guard, I was living everything about him and his music. Sure, I wasn’t expecting a rapper to open up for the dreampop princess that is Anna of the North but I wasn’t disappointed in any way, shape, or form by it. There was something intense and heartfelt about Quadry’s raps that had me absolutely captivated even though his words felt a bit harsh at times. He rapped with a sense of integrity and aggression while somehow coming off as somewhat shy when he addressed the audience the few times that he did. I was annoyed with the audience as they talked through his set and I got the feeling that he noticed it too but that didn’t stop him from just being up on stage and doing his thing and, because of that, he has gained a new fan.
The young and super sold out audience was beyond excited as the stage was turned over for headliner Anna of the North. You could feel the anticipation in the air and it only escalated as the clock ticked past 9PM, Anna of the North’s start time. The volume of conversations rose until the drummer and keyboardist were seen taking the stage. That’s when the conversations turned to cheers and then, as soon as Anna took the stage, almost silence as the audience tuned in attentively to this up and coming songstress.
Anna of the North is Anna Lotterud from Norway and has truly taken the scene by storm. Having just release her second album last year and only having one album prior to that from 2017, I think it’s fair to call her a bit of a newcomer to the music world but if you were at the show last night, you wouldn’t have thought that. As soon as she took the stage, there was something super laid back yet professional about her. She wasn’t all professionally put together in the way some other young musicians may try to present themselves and really just came off as that friend of yours with a talent. That unassuming look and laid back demeanor matched the reason I fell in love with her perfectly– the lyrics. Her lyrics are real and honest but, when matched with the dreamscape of instrumentation that her songs most often come with, make it feel a little bit less depressing and more of just “how it goes”. I’m sorry if that makes no sense to you but if you listened to her words, I think you may get it.
I lost track of how many songs Anna of the North and her band played but whatever the number was, it wasn’t long enough. Along with coming off as completely genuine and, well, normal, Anna’s music gave way to a peaceful zen that I was in search for this week. It’s been a nutty week and I still have a couple more shows to go before I can actually get a full night’s worth of sleep so having the moments with Anna seranading me into a calm was a true treat. The rest of the audience seemed to be getting the same vibe from the stage and although you could feel the excitement throughout the audience, there was still something so chill and calm about everyone in the sold out crowd.
My brother didn’t buy a ticket to last night’s show early enough and seemed to be a bit surprised when I told him it was sold out but I wasn’t surprised at all. Anna of the North is a true treasure and something unique and genuine in a very cookie cutter scene that seems to have its share of insincerity. What a great night and a perfect way to mark the middle of an insane week.