Seattle-based Ana Beaumont is the quintessential Singer-Songwriter for those moments where nominal sensation dissolves away into something more fleshy and vivid and manufactured from the depths of this intoner's pain.
Her debut EP, 'Hirieth,' was released under the Indie-Pop songwriter tag, appropriate for her longing soprano-laden vocals, the moody piano's inflection, and the rustic textures throughout.
Still, many of these sonics traverse the borders between Pop and Blue-eyed-soul. She hasn't cited and influences thus far, but when we listen, Adele and Angel Olsen come to mind as vividly rendered mirrorings in style, but with a more, "love is doom" cabaret aesthetic.
With Ana Beaumont's "Hiraeth," all trepidations about her passion-driven relationship are on fleshy display.
The buoyant opening lines of "Constant Summer," float atop infatuating blue lines that exude from Ana's deep-buzzing infatuations, "I am drowning in your honey, lost in the empty darkness of your eyes." She sings with lamenting anchored inflection as the piano chaperones her way further into bleak but captivating passions.
It's a song you could lay in bed staring at the ceiling too, buzzing over the sensations she inflicts with her synergistic harmonies in the resounding mantra-like chorus.
The narrative found on this record is consumed by love and disparity, and much of it continues that trajectory. "God Knows I'm A Liar" is a gear shift up from its predecessor's slow-burning room, and it musters forward with propulsion adorned by the bright tinged electric guitar and its dry and earthy drumset support. Here, Ana has come to terms that she is not okay with the way things transpired in her relationship, ruminating over her break-up as she sings, "yeah, I thought I was good, but I'm not well at all." There's a slow swaying provocation that entices us to get up from the bed and waltz-along in the dark before the songstress takes grip over the heartstring once again for the next track.
The eponymously titled single that sits as the center to her masterpiece coils over a diminishing tonality from the instrumentals, as they evoke melancholy's most profound sensations. For a moment, we're not even centered in on her lyrics. Instead, all our attention is focused on the warbling and dynamic trend she produces when the melodious top-line leaves her lips—infiltrating the musical worlds inside our minds.
Like the clandestine dances between the sun and the moon, Ana thought her relationship would survive past the metaphorical sunsets and sunrises of love. She sings with a long bending decay at her tail, festering slowly like a shadow floating behind the mixes cascading string-sample backdrops.
When we arrive at the other end, it feels like the only way to go from emotional rock bottom is up, but on "The Ruins," we continue on a path that draws reminiscence to 2017's "Belladonna of Sadness" from Alexandra Savoir. It's a cinematic experience that pivots away from the bird-songs that open up this track. Here, Ana lays us down, huddles us under our beds' covers, and divulges the story behind her bullet wounded heart. As we transcend into the final vocal swells, it's like Ana has pulled away from the covers and opened up the shades to let the light shine for a fleeting moment of relief. Introspection reigns as our best healing process and Ana Beaumont has carved out a glowing home in it that she calls "Hiraeth."
Sometimes her references seem laborious and hard-felt when she describes some of her own self-sabotage in earlier songs like "The Ruins," but the experience as a whole develops onto you with a gripping magnetism that slowly produces infatuation. She mirrors the sounds of Adele with her susurrate falsettos on "Moon," but there's more to Ana Beaumont's influence than soul vocals alone—she taps far deep into her deepest pools of depicting emotions and finds beauty in the form of her distinguishing vocal resonance. Each track stands as essentials on their own, but together as, 'Hiraeth,' Ana creates a dusk-glowing world that beams with the vivid storytelling and adhesive emotions she's scraped the depths of longing and loss.
Can you give us the details behind this record's narrative? Was this a recent relationship that manifested its way onto this record, or a fragmented combination of many?
The record was written after a tumultuous relationship I had found myself in for about two years that, unsurprisingly, ended on a sour note. Even though we tried our best to convince ourselves that there was a long-term future for our relationship, there was always that little voice of reason in the back of my head trying to get me to open my eyes and see the truth. The first song, “Constant Summer”, details my recognition that things weren’t truly as hopeful as they'd seemed and that we would likely never make it to the points in the relationship that we wanted to get to; that building a life together really wasn't in our future. Each song brings up a specific set of thoughts or emotions that tend to go through your mind in a relationship that you know is on its final stretch. There’s almost an allusion of going through the five stages of grief within a dying relationship, though that certainly wasn't intentional.
When did you realize the cohesive order and flow of this record, and did you find any challenges in curating its song choice/order?
The EP was originally six songs! But I woke up one morning and completely scrapped the first song as I felt that it didn't add anything to the narrative - it felt the most unlike me as an artist, and I didn't think it would be appropriate to have a song I didn't really connect with on the project. Doing this ultimately changed the layout for a majority of the EP, and that in itself was a bit of a frustrating task for me to get a hold of. But I eventually sat down with myself and tried to think of each song as a chapter in a story - what song would start the “story”, and which would end it? Which would make the most sense in the narrative? Out of all of the songs, “Constant Summer”, to me, had the best introductory lines and would really set the tone for the rest of the record. The only song that remained in its position was the final song, “Moon”, which was my sort of goodbye to the relationship, and the final song written.
If you were to pick one song from this record that sits with you as being the most relatable and lesson-exuding, which would it be and why?
It might be an interesting choice, but I’d go with “The Ruins”. It was the first song I wrote for the record, and I wrote it within a few hours after the relationship had ended while I was still stewing in that feeling of rage, confusion, and denial - standing on top of the ruins in a relationship and looking on at the destruction around you and wondering why the other person didn't fight hard enough to keep things together. I think it’s important to understand that, as a human being, it’s completely okay to feel that almost irrational, white-hot anger that comes after moments of heartbreak - so long as you don’t act on it. And that can be the hardest thing to do! Having that sort of control, and being able to say the things that I didn’t say at that moment and feel things that I’d typically feel uncomfortable from expressing really gave me a feeling of relief that I’m not sure I would’ve found as quickly without writing. Having a song like that, that kind of paints yourself out to be both the victim and the villain, in a sense, is important to me, and I hope that others can relate to those feelings as well.
When it comes to your influences as an artist, who can you describe as being the most monumental in your musical inspirations, and why?
I have a few artists in particular that come to mind, but the artist who has had such a massive impact on me is MARINA/Marina and The Diamonds. The first song I heard by her was “Numb” when I was a teenager, and I’d been hooked ever since. She’s inspired me so immensely - hearing that somebody taught themselves piano and produced their first songs on GarageBand is actually very inspiring to hear when you’re thirteen and have no knowledge of music in the technical sense! And a very vast majority of her songs are incredibly impactful to me not only as an artist but as an individual. Her music was there for me in times in which I felt I had nothing. Truly, she’s helped shape me to become who I am today, as fanatical as it sounds. I think it’s so important to have a selection of artists in which you can listen to their music and think, “Somebody understands the things I’ve been through, and the feelings I’ve felt.” It’s wonderful to have that kind of connection with an artist as a fan!
If there was one thing you could say to your audience before they dive into the emotional world of "Herieta" for the first time, what would it be?
If you have any negative emotions about someone specifically, allow yourself to feel them as you listen through 'Hiraeth.' It’s okay to let yourself go through the motions.