If life is more about the journey than the destination, Anna Vogelzang has proven herself the emerging musical force behind this age-old belief. Anna — a melody-driving, songwriting, Boston-born, LA-based multi-instrumentalist — has spent her formative years spread across the country, learning the musical languages of the Midwest, west coast, New England and all that lies in between. Building community from coast to coast, she has traveled with home on her fingertips, her music peppered with flavors of nostalgia and perpetual motion.
After spending her last decade based in Madison, when Anna Vogelzang finally arrived in L.A., it seemed to be the perfect place to settle her rambling lifestyle. Braving the city’s vast, established music scene, she sought out kindred spirits and co-founded LA’s weekly songwriting group, “Song Salon” with guitarist Adam Levy (Norah Jones, Vulfpeck). This collective was the foundation of her journey into the West Coast atmosphere. Anna discovered she was pregnant with her first child soon after the group’s formation, and armed with a buoyed sense of community and the knowledge of this approaching life shift, she decided to record an album throughout the deeply transitional process, despite — and because of — the uncertainty of what the other side would look like.
The feeling of living within a transient physical state while living in new surroundings was the origin of her upcoming album, Beacon, co-produced with Tyler Chester, set to be released later this year. The group of songs was born from both places of unknowing, and ultimately proved itself inspired by the West Coast ether. Vogelzang explains, “These songs have California in their blood. All of them written in this new city, on a new journey, in a new climate, home, community. They were written to process these huge transitions — transition of place, and into motherhood.” Beacon is her seventh studio album and celebrates the momentum of surrendering to the unknown, a feeling Vogelzang knows intimately from her time in L.A . Her music transcends place by acknowledging the true illuminating source of soul and sound: people and self.
A lifetime of wandering and rigorous touring shaped Anna’s music, and developed her sound into a wide palette of imagistic gritty landscapes, ranging from the “warm, engaging folk-pop” (Relix) of her 2014 EP, Driftless, to the “wide expansive sound” (Magnet Magazine) of her most recent release, Hiker (2016). Pop Matters praised her 2012 release, Canary in a Coal Mine, saying that the album’s “exquisite lyrical craftsmanship evok[es] everyone from Regina Spektor to Ani DiFranco, shifting between delicate lilt and evocative howl at will.” Her upcoming album, Beacon (2019), features Los Angeles mainstays Jay Bellerose (T. Bone Burnett, Aimee Mann), Mai Bloomfield (Jason Mraz, Sara Bareilles), Tyler Chester (Jackson Browne, Andrew Bird), Adam Levy, and is mixed by long-time collaborator Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco, Anais Mitchell).
In 2012, Anna launched Wintersong, an annual charity show in Madison, WI that has raised over $34,000 for Second Harvest Foodbank of Southwest Wisconsin, an event she continues to organize, produce, and perform at, despite relocating. For over a decade she has taught at Girls Rock Camps in Madison and L.A., youth-centered arts and social justice organizations teaching empowerment through music. Anna has been involved with the International Girls Rock Alliance, and in 2017 joined the LA College of Music’s songwriting faculty. Her efforts and approach to music are rooted in the belief that communal experience heightens the creative process, and that collaboration serves to remind us that the truest sense of home is within ourselves.
Anna lives with her husband, Andrew, and their growing little boy, Jasper.