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Musician Spotlight: Anna Shoemaker

Last Tuesday, Aidan Bissett’s Supernova Tour came to Philadelphia, and with it his sensational opening act: Anna Shoemaker. They lit up the Theatre of Living Arts to the delight of a buzzing crowd of fans.

A Philly native, Shoemaker is a Brooklyn-based indie/pop artist who has been releasing music since 2018. She says her biggest inspiration is “just living life.”

“You know, experiencing life and letting things happen because that’s what I write about, things that happen,” she said.

“This philosophy definitely comes through in Shoemaker’s projects, with songs like “Not Coming Back,” her latest release, reflecting on specific moments or feelings from her life.

“It’s a song about going rogue,” Shoemaker said, “I really wanted to get it out before tour because that’s really what tour is about.”

Her other songs are just as intriguing, all with a unique sound that makes you want to keep listening. She’s been dubbed “Brooklyn’s own Olivia Rodrigo,” and for good reason. Many of Shoemaker’s songs have a melancholy, sharp edge that any “Guts” enthusiast is sure to like.

Some highlights off her EP from this summer, “Hey Anna,” include “666” and “Holly,” both songs Shoemaker called the most fun to perform while on tour.

“They’re both high-energy songs,” Shoemaker explained. “I love that my band kind of makes the songs their own too. The songs off my EP are really important to me.”

Shoemaker constantly interacts with her band while onstage, creating a fun and carefree energy during her set. The songs she highlighted were just as fun for the crowd as they are for her. “Holly” was the last song of the set, a perfect conclusion to her part of the concert.

The nature of Tuesday’s show was especially important to Shoemaker. It was, of course, her hometown show and she was decked out in an “I Love Philly” shirt. But that wasn’t all; the crowd was full of her friends and family who were all visibly ecstatic to see her perform at TLA. One of the best parts of the night was seeing all of Shoemaker’s little cousins file up to the very front of the venue to have the best view. As for the actual set, Shoemaker was all smiles and giggles. It must have been a surreal experience considering she called performing at TLA a longtime dream of hers.

“It’s not something you do if you’re just half in it,” Shoemaker said about her experience on tour. “It’s a lot of driving, a lot of being with your band who at the end of the day are just a bunch of boys. But I’m so grateful to be doing this and performing and interacting with the fans.”

Shoemaker has a clear love for performing, that much was obvious from watching her on stage. She was also an incredibly sweet person to talk to, with so much enthusiasm for her music. If you want to hear more from Shoemaker, she recommends starting with “Holly.”

Shoemaker has one more very important connection to the Philly area: a cousin at Villanova.

“I’m going to shout him out,” she said. “If you’re reading this, go #19.”

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