Interstellar folk songstress Annathyst hails from her galactic universe of the backwoods of Michigan. Standing apart from the crowd and delivering a sound that is unique to her, we’re always thrilled to hone in on the intimate soundscapes created by the elusive artist herself.
Fresh off the launch of her recently released single, “Mountain Skies,” the ease and grace offered up allow you to lean into the pacifying hues intended for the times of uncertainty.
In the atmospheric realm of airy synths, warming acoustic guitar strums, and rich banjo twangs, the profound intentions of implementing stillness within all, reigns supreme. Annathyst’s delicate timbres scoop you into her embrace as the gentle grasp wraps you in a blanket of security destined to poignantly lift you from any ambiguity you may feel after the wrath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her voice spreads a soothing essence in the way it calms you upon the initial moments it touches down. You feel a sense of trust flourish with Annathyst as she takes a moment to address these times in a way that has her audience knowing they aren’t alone. Highlighting intricately sculpted lyrical motifs such as, ‘the world is alright, do you see it, in the morning light, in the mountain skies,’ has us falling into the striking realization that in the end, everything will be okay.
Always having a knack to bring heightened emotions and dimensions that thrive off of musical builds in the arrangements presented, Annathyst allows the impact of “Mountain Skies,” to be no different than she cemented designs. With tantalizing nods to the relatability that we all share as humans, Annathyst is bringing people together one song at a time.
The beautiful buildup of “Mountain Skies,” truly translates into the world’s current state. We love the impact made in this track! You mentioned that some time in solitude allowed for this record to come to life. Could you please share a glimpse into some realizations that you made in order to get to this point?
Thank you! Writing “Mountain Skies” was incredibly healing for me because I was feeling a lot of fear and confusion at the beginning of the pandemic and this song seemed to help release and neutralize all of those uncomfortable feelings, reminding me that on some level everything really is alright. The solo time I spent in nature during the time I wrote “Mountain Skies” was actually a part of my graduate program in wilderness therapy. It was a 3-day Rites of Passage ritual that we do at the end of our second year of the program where we spend 3 days immersed in nature. It was through this program that I was able to heal from some of the more significant traumas I endured in my earlier 20s which included the death of my younger sister. I had come to a point in my healing where I was ready to truly step into living my life again out of the shadow of all my trauma. That was my intention of the Rites of Passage and it happened to be in the midst of the global pandemic. “Mountain Skies” felt like a message from the natural world that there is another reality happening in nature where on some level all is well. Not to discount the suffering we have all faced and continue to face through the last couple of years, but to remind us that there is bigger universal energy that is supporting us no matter what.
How does “Mountain Skies,” compare to the release of ‘All Night?' What similarities and differences have you found?
I released “Mountain Skies” the same week I graduated from graduate school so in a way it felt very cathartic to let it go into the world at the same time something really big for me was ending. While I noticed “All Night” caught on very quickly especially to a larger audience of people I don’t know, “Mountain Skies” seemed to have a rippling impact on many people I do know. I still get messages from time to time from people about how impactful that song is/was for them. “All Night” is more vibey and empowering, while “Mountain Skies” seems to bring up an array of emotions from grief to hope. It just has a deeper message and feeling to it.
What are you hoping that your audience takes away from the messaging in “Mountain Skies?"
My hope is that whoever receives the message of “Mountain Skies” feels as comforted as I did when I wrote it. It is not meant to be understood so to say, I’ve had people want to discuss with me why I say, “The world is alright,” when in their perspective the world is not alright. I don’t think it’s an either/or on this. I think the message of “Mountain Skies” comes from a more eternal and limitless place. Of course, there is a lot of suffering happening and for many people, the world does not feel alright right now. “Mountain Skies” is not meant to discount or invalidate anyone’s experience, but rather to bolster you up, to remember how you’re still held and supported by the unseen world and of course nature.
How do you suggest that people out there deal with the repercussions of the pandemic? Do you have any words that have helped you throughout these times?
This is a hard question because I think the saddest thing that has come out of these times is the division it has created between so many people. It seems like you’re either on one side or the other. I think the division is where we lose sight of the truth. I think the best suggestion I can give is to remain in your heart and try to connect with others on a heart level. When we close our hearts off it’s easy to see anyone as “other” and then we lose sight of our innate connection to each other. What has helped me through this time is to remember to choose love and to choose connection over being right about something. We are more powerful in connection.
What's your favorite release of 2021, from an independent artist you admire?
The last full album released in 2021 that I have really enjoyed is Buck Meek’s solo album “Two Saviors.” I’m a fan of his work in Big Thief, his duo work with Adrianne Lenker, and he did a great job with this album. I love albums I can really sink into and play on repeat for a few days and this was one of them.