Anna Smyrk is an alt-folk singer-songwriter from Central Victoria, Australia. She’s an artisan of song, spinning stories about love, death and far away places.
Anna first received critical acclaim in 2009, winning the Queenscliff Music Festival Foot-in-the-Door competition. She also participated in PUSH songs, where she received one-on-one song writing mentorship from the likes of Jeff Lang and Abbie Dobson (Leonardo’s Bride). In the years to come, she began to sample more and more success, touring widely around Australia and Europe.
Anna believes that music can be a way to connect people and make change for the better. In 2013 she co-founded the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Music Group and volunteered with the group for over two years.
2015 saw Anna embarking a new adventure: she packed her bags and moved from Melbourne’s buzzing music scene to settle in provincial Cambodia. She spent a year working for Phare Ponleu Selpak, a community organisation that uses music and other arts to engage, inspire and educate disadvantaged young people, and support them in a career in the arts if they so choose.
She returned to Melbourne in 2016 to release her debut solo EP, “Song of the Silver-tongued Magpie.” The EP was described as “a slow-burning gem” by Rhythms Magazine, while ABC Radio National called it “exquisite.”
Anna currently splits her time between Australia and the Solomon Islands, juggling her music with her work in international development. These experiences of living and working in different places have enriched her songwriting and provided opportunities to connect with other musicians from various backgrounds. In Cambodia, Anna formed a duo called “Romhaii” with a traditional instrumentalist in Cambodia; they will release their debut EP later this year. In Solomon Islands, she runs song-writing workshops for young people in the Solomon Islands, helping them to tap into their creativity and find ways to express themselves.
Anna has performed at Port Fairy Folk, Queenscliff Music, the Basin and Nimbin Roots Festivals. She will tour nationally in August and September 2017 to launch a brand new video.
ABC Radio National: “Exquisite folk tunes.”
Rhythms magazine: “Victorian singer-songwriter Anna Smyrk has crafted a slow-burning gem… A heady mixture of lilting folk and dark Americana-style country, combining effortlessly. Smyrk’s acoustic guitar and voice shine, focusing on quality over quantity, the songs sparse and simple, which makes them all the stronger… A solid release, which leaves one awaiting her debut full-length with some anticipation.”
Tonedeaf magazine: “A stunning effort from a thoughtful songwriter… Smyrk’s delicately crafted folk tunes have made her a local name to watch.”
Sounds of Oz music blog: “The first two tracks reminded me of the raw, organic power of music delivered simply, without a big studio budget…Bare-bones music like this leaves nowhere to hide, and that exposure makes the songs so striking. The lilting piano melody of “Oh, the Wind” is like a big warm hug…“The Murder of Alan Beyne” stopped me in my tracks. What quiet power a song gets when it’s anchored by a haunting voice and a compelling story. The harmonic layered vocals of the closing track, “Backyard Dawn” are so angelic”.
The Inside Sleeve, ABC Radio National, Paul Gough: ‘I’ve really enjoyed listening to the tracks on Anna’s EP. It’s quite diverse. The opening cut is probably my favourite, Barefoot Shuffle…It’s great to hear music from people doing it themselves.”
Praise for Anna
Jeff Lang: “Anna’s music has a wonderfully self-assured quality, the sound of someone who has her own stories to tell and her own way of telling them.”
Charles Jenkins: “Anna Smyrk’s songs have such a charm about them. There’s a graceful understanding of all that has gone before, coupled with a determination to express what she thinks and feels, in her own beautiful way. A glorious combination of talents.”
“Song of the Silver-tongued Magpie” EP.
- Barefoot Shuffle
- House of Straw
- Oh, the Wind
- The Murder of Alan Beyne
- Backyard Dawn
All songs written by Anna Smyrk
Anna Smyrk (vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar, percussion)
Dan Musil: dobro guitar
Jimmy Power: banjo
Magpies of Panorama Drive: backing vocals
Media release here.
Previous releases include: