Visit my crowdfunding page here: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/anna-hester-is-making-an-album
I am making my first album: a collection of songs inspired by postcards. This project is the culmination of four years of creative work. It has been collaborative from the start: everyone who sent me a postcard has already contributed in some way. I would now hugely value your support in helping me to record and release this album to the best possible standard.
I have already released one postcard song (featured in the above video) as a single to give you a taste. The song is called ‘A Line’ and is available on all major streaming platforms and at www.annahester.bandcamp.com.
Who am I?
I am a singer-songwriter from Milton Keynes, now based in Cambridge (UK). I have released 2 EPs: In the Meantime (2014) and Towards Today (2018). With Towards Today I really started to find my sound, aided significantly by producer Dan Wilde at Gladeside Recordings. Dan is a well-respected singer-songwriter in his own right. I have held off on recording a full album until now, because I wanted to feel I had a collection of songs that constituted one coherent project. I now have those songs, and I am really excited to share them on this album.
The songs on the album all use postcards as a starting point (postcard images, postcard messages), and together they tell a range of intertwining stories. My family is full of artists – photographers, painters, poets, comedians – and the interplay between art forms has always interested me. As a teenager I wrote songs about novels I was studying at school, and one day in 2013 I found myself writing a song about a postcard of a David Hockney painting I had bought at a gallery.
The postcard idea returned to me in 2016. I was struggling with writer’s block and attended an Arvon residential songwriting course. I had a fantastic week in the West Yorkshire countryside, meeting interesting people, immersing myself in music, and being made to write something new every day.
Course tutors Kathryn Williams and Samantha Parton gave me invaluable guidance on songwriting. There was also a guest speaker: Boo Hewerdine. Boo treated us to an intimate gig and gave us songwriting advice. He recalled a time when he had been writing songs with Duke Special about a set of photographs (for the album ‘Under the Dark Cloth’). This reminded me of my postcard song. As soon as I returned home from the idyllic songwriting retreat, I started my ‘Postcard Project’. At first, I wrote a song about a postcard every week. Then weeks were missed and my focus on the project came and went, but never disappeared entirely. People sent me postcards; I picked up postcards in Berlin, Lisbon, Vienna; I found old postcards in my childhood bedroom; I bought postcards after visiting The Barbican and The Tate Modern. By late 2019 I had more than enough postcard songs for an album. That these songs span several years only adds to the project, because they tell the story of many different moments, places, and people.