Anna Shoemaker ignites a few sparks on ‘Everything is Fine (I’m Only on Fire)’

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Recommended Tracks:  “Mariah”, “It’s Depression”, “What Do I Do?”
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When life gets a little crazy, it can be easy to deflect how we really feel about what is going on.  We convince ourselves that things will be alright or we tell our friends that we are fine, even though things do not look so great.  Over the past couple of years, indie pop artist Anna Shoemaker has been ruminating on such feelings and releasing tracks that focus on putting your well-being first, empowering others to follow suit.  These releases have been setting the tone for Anna’s debut album, Everything is Fine (I’m Only on Fire), which gets into mental health, messy situations, and relationships that are more detrimental than beneficial.  In doing so, Anna helps us realize that it is okay to be open about the things that make us feel anxious or upset, as nobody has it all completely together.

While listening to the album, it becomes very clear that Anna has a soft spot in her heart for relationships.  This can be a good thing, as connections with others can help us thrive.  On the other hand, as we hear on tracks like “Mariah,” relationships could also be more trouble than they are worth.  Throughout the catchy indie pop track, Anna compares the tempestuous relationship she has with someone to that of Eminem and Mariah Carey, who have been publicly feuding with each other for the better part of twenty years.  Anna sings, “He made me crazy, left me crying there on the floor,” and accuses this guy of finding ways to make her feel bad about how things ended.  We may not know what exactly went down with Eminem and Mariah, but we do feel Anna’s frustration in the aftermath of her own relationship.

Still, Anna does have a way of wanting or keeping these people in her life.  On the R&B-infused “On Me,” for instance, Anna sings, “We got history I’m not trying to repeat, but I don’t want you to leave,” showing that she just cannot move on from this person.  There is also the sprightly “It’s Depression” collaboration she has with indie artist Middle Part, where the two sing, “Tell me that you want me back and I’ll stop overthinking everything that I do and all I say to you.”  While it seems like Anna might be better off without these relationships, there is something that tells her to keep these people around and see what happens.

There are times when Anna acknowledges some of these problematic tendencies, letting us know that she is aware of these potentially sketchy situations.  On the mellow “Sorry All The Time,” for example, Anna sings about how exhausting it is to let a certain someone back into her life, claiming, “It’s a cycle and I want to break it,” but not following through.  There is also the solemn “Long Drive Home,” where she points out, “We all got problems, but I focus on the wrong ones,” knowing that she tends to get in her own way.  Even on the guitar and synth-based “Sick!” she questions, “Is it sick I like missing you?” wondering if her behavior after a breakup is normal.  By asking these questions and addressing these faults, Anna shows her mortality, and we are compelled to empathize.

All in all, Everything is Fine (I’m Only on Fire) is a sincere look at doing what you can to stay afloat.  Anna captures that notion of pretending like things are fine when all is really up in flames, from the angst we hear on the title track to the heartbreak we hear on “What Do I Do?”  It takes so much to get all of that energy out in these songs, to not be afraid to let people see from your point of view.  As she continues to let people in and create such dynamic music, Anna definitely has a lot to look forward to in the years to come.  She is on fire, after all.

You can listen to Everything is Fine (I’m Only on Fire) on platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.

Keep up with Anna Shoemaker:  Facebook // Instagram // Twitter // YouTube // Website

Christine Sloman
Christine Slomanhttps://linktr.ee/christine.sloman
Writer for Melodic Mag since 2018. Music lover since always.

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