The US songwriter Anna Coogan combines many different musical preferences. This can also be seen on her latest recording "The Lonely Cry Of Space & Time", where she juggles skilfully with scratchy indie rock, singer-songwriter folklore and opera. "I was lucky my parents were big singer-songwriter fans and I had to listen to Bob Dylan or Phil Ochs all the time." The extremely friendly musician lets her captivating laughter sound. "My mother also introduced me to Laura Nyro, whom I would call my greatest early inspiration."
Instead of picking up an acoustic guitar, Anna Coogan decided to train as an opera singer at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. To this day she earns a large part of her living as a singing teacher. "But the teens all want to sing like Ariana Grande, so inevitably I'm more and more confronted with this kind of music." The opera, however, was not an option for Coogan. Back in the USA, she started a career as an alternative country singer. "My band was called North 19, and we were quite successful for a while, so I learned to appreciate life as a rock musician."
However, the success was not so much reflected in the sound of the coin, which is why Coogan, also very unusually, worked as a fisheries biologist. "Well, that had to be then, but now I'm only living off the music, my own and my singing lessons." On her recently released third solo album she has undergone a radical change of style. For the first time she uses what she learned at the Mozarteum in her songs. Accordingly, she also adapted her way of composing and arranging: "I would never have thought of it myself, but I worked with the fantastic musician Johnny Dowd and contributed opera singing to his album. Only then did I develop the feeling of wanting to bring my two worlds, rock and opera, together in my music. The result is an unconventional, fascinating album."
At the end of a very relaxed conversation it turns out that Anna Coogan speaks German very well (with an Austrian touch). Maybe that's why she's so happy to be able to present her songs on local stages in autumn.
*** Sascha Seiler