Dolans Warehouse - Limerick, V94 PD79, Ireland
Limerick indie outfit Anna’s Anchor today announces their fourth album, The Merries, out July 7, 2023 via Strange Brew, and their upcoming tour across Ireland. The band are celebrating the news with the release of their new single ‘Function Room Floor’, out Wednesday, 29 March, 2023. Once a solo affair, this ever-evolving musical project now resembles a collaborative community with frontman Marty Ryan as the band’s lynchpin.
The summer tour will see Anna’s Anchor bring their raucous full band sound to The Workman’s Cellar in Dublin on 13th July, Debarra’s in Clonakilty on 14th July, and Dolan’s Warehouse in their hometown of Limerick on 15th July. Tickets go on sale Friday, 31st March and the album vinyl is available for pre-order here on Wednesday, 5th April.
‘Function Room Floor’ looks back on teenage social awkwardness with a sweeping sound inspired by The National, Alex G, and Tycho. The insistent chord progressions play on a feeling of youthful yearning. Powerful percussion drives the song forward—especially on the outro—and shows off the talents of drummer Brian Scally (Ganglions).
Ryan says of ‘Function Room Floor’: “It’s a simple song about being a nervous young person at any kind of social event in Ireland, be it a teenage disco or local club hurling function, where I’d be found with my back glued to the wall afraid to speak to anyone but imagining all sort of narratives in my own head about everyone else’s lives and using that as a vicarious means of escape from my own life at the time.”
The Merries—including ‘Function Room Floor’—documents some of Ryan’s happiest memories, but his desire to record them came from a fever dream of pain and uncertainty. Ryan suffered a frightening head injury in 2021 shortly after moving to the US to pursue a PhD in music education. While he’s healthy now, memory loss and long term issues were an initial concern. Ryan wrote a list of important memories after the accident happened as a way to ensure he remembered those experiences that were precious to him. Strangely enough, none of these events had ever featured in an Anna’s Anchor song before, despite the band being three albums and a slew of EPs deep.
Since the project’s inception in 2014, Ryan has amassed a loyal audience from playing over 350 shows all around the world in a DIY fashion. 2021’s A Glorious Ruction showed the creative potential of the band with a concept album about the River Shannon that led the group to critical acclaim in Ireland in the U.K. Musically, The Merries is the most expansive offering from Anna’s Anchor to date. Guitars, bass, drums, and brash vocals are there—as expected from the band—but The Merries also includes more stripped back songs, synthesizers, found sound, and spoken word. This album also features more individuals on it than previous releases, with Brian Scally on drums, Clare O’Brien on backing vocals (as well as lead vocals for the album’s closing song), and even a guest appearance from Hermitage Green’s Dermot Sheedy on Bodhrán. In revisiting his past, Ryan discovered a new artistic freedom with Anna’s Anchor, culminating in The Merries.