Analogue Music | Anya Marina - "Shut Up (Live from Rockwood, NYC)"
Anya Marina - "Shut Up (Live from Rockwood, NYC)"

Anya Marina - "Shut Up (Live from Rockwood, NYC)"

Artist: Anya Marina · Written by Analogue

Date Released

19 February, 2021

Just over a year ago, Anya Marina gave an audience at New York's Rockwood Music Hall the sort of inside look that most fans dream of hearing from their favorite artist with a solo set of stories and songs stretched over two December nights. Beginning next week, those fans can hear the 17-song retrospective on her latest LP, Live and Alone in New York.

For those who want a sneak peek, we've got an exciting premiere of the song "Shut Up" from that showcase. The original track premiered on her Paper Plane, which released back in 2017, and you can now hear the sparse electric take from Marina on this forthcoming live LP above. Here's what Anya told us about the track and playing it live during this set at Rockwood.

“Shut Up" is one of the few songs I ever wrote in one quick burst. I love the album version of it with all of its lush but understated production (thanks to producer Dave Depper) and Paulie Pulvirenti’s perfect drum part. But this is one of those songs that really comes alive for me when I get to do it solo. I can pause where I want to pause. I can take a beat during an important moment. These are the reasons I wanted to do a solo album. Aside from it being easier, production-wise, for me to make an album solo, I am, at my core, a solo performer.

I will often play with a band—and I love doing that—but I started out as a solo performer, so being onstage alone with a guitar, a microphone, and a couple handfuls of songs and back-stories is how I’m most comfortable performing, to be honest. Playing alone will either make you into a real entertainer—capable of not only playing and singing well, but also holding an audience’s attention--or you will quickly realize you need backup. I love the terror and excitement of going up there alone and having no idea how a particular show will go. They always say playing shows is like dancing with an audience, but it’s also a little like dancing with yourself and your own level of confidence, the little voices in your head. It’s a bit of a meditation practice. You need to really be in the moment when you’re playing and ride the waves of the many different things happening at once—the song you’re playing, the instrument, your fingers, the voice coming out of your mouth, the music you hear coming back at you from the stage monitor, the audience sounds, the different energies in the room, how your body is feeling and moving, the voices in your head trying to distract you (“Why did you decide to play this song now? Maybe you should’ve waited until later. Do you have the right closing song? Maybe you should re-think your set. Are people having a good enough time?”). It’s endless.

I like playing solo because I like having the freedom to start a song and stop abruptly to tell the audience something I just thought of. I like the easy-breeziness of playing solo. And of course the intimacy of it being just you up there and the audience. Mainly I like highlighting a song’s strength by stripping it down to its core elements: one instrument and one voice.

But I digress!

I chose to play Shut Up in this live set because it’s got such a range of emotions and moods. There’s desire and playfulness and flirtation but also exasperation and fear and longing and fear, then hope and idealism and vulnerability and humor. Whenever I play it, I go right back to the headspace I was in when I wrote it. It was a fraught time. I wanted my way, but I wasn’t getting it. I wanted a relationship to happen with someone who wasn’t ready—he had all of these reasons why we might not work out.

I didn’t want to hear it. Hence, "Shut Up."

Marina's new album spans the length of her full catalog, from her debut Miss Halfway to last fall's Queen of the Night. Produced by singer-songwriter Eric Hutchinson, the album includes plenty of fan favorites as well as a new cover of Taylor Swift's "The Man." You can pre-order the album here.