Anastasia Coope | New Single “He Is On His Way Home, We Don’t Live Together,” Pushes Away Yet Beckons You Closer

From Upcoming Debut Album ‘Darning Woman”

Written by

Bree Castillo

Photographed by

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Don't you know that words lose meaning the more you say them? See here, musician Anastasia Coope prove that's not exactly true as she holds grand meaning with only a few breaths.

The Brooklyn-based singer will soon release her upcoming debut album Darning Woman from Jagjaguwar on May 31st. But today, she offers up her new single, “He Is On His Way Home, We Don’t Live Together,” which comes as a tender windful that pulls away yet beckons you closer. Like an eerie whisper, Anastasia layers her hiemal vocals against meaningful strings as she dissects the complexities of meaning versus understanding and the idiosyncrasies of interpretation. It's disorientating grace suggests both a minute of delirium but also absolutism in the lyrical repetition.

Anastasia speaks into a vast room, allowing her sentiments of longing and unrest to echo, return, distort, and transform as it explores and counteracts the boundaries of sound and space. ​​“I was able to envision a room of things happening, rather than me just building something,” the artist shares. “This record was me starting to think spatially about music.” With the distance traveled, Anastasia allows herself to find texture in aspects that aren’t usually felt or tangible resulting in a spiraling tendril of emotional resonance. "He is On His Way Home, We Don't Live Together" is almost a like sonic rendition of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's “The Yellow Wallpaper” wherein beautiful hysteria leads also to intrinsic freedom. 

Until Darning Woman, you can see Anastasia in LA on March 13 at 2220 Arts + Archives in Los Angeles and at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, NY on May 31 for her album release.

You repeat “He is On His Way Home, We Don't Live Together” almost as if a mantra. What draws you to this line? 

In my songwriting, I’m looking for words that can structurally aid- and aesthetically inform- the music. While clear intent can exist lyrically, I am most often finding a phrase that I like and using it to construct. 

Are the video and song separate or combined entities? What do you hope people experience when watching the video?

Everything is meant to work together. I brought some Walerian Borowczyk scenes to Grace (Conrad, the director), and we tried our hand at gesturing towards them. I like that videos, due to their limitations and deadlines, end up falling out of my hands a bit. All I can do is provide a set of ideas and then wait and see what the cuts look like. I wouldn’t say that I am always looking for a timeless outcome, but I feel more drawn to things that are hard to place- I never like things to look too American or too Euro, too vintage or too modern. There’s a suspended place that I’m trying to get things to sit in, and I hope the video feels that way to onlookers.

You mentioned your upcoming record, Darning Woman, made you start thinking about music spatially, what did you discover about this intersection between space and music?

I was thinking about how the music would come together if it were performed by multiple people in a room. I love choirs. I think of recordings as things that can hold hundreds of maximalist ventures while staying regulated.

Do you see overlap in where you draw inspiration for your music versus your paintings, drawings, and mixed media? Why or why not? Where does this inspiration come from?

The practices all inform each other and I view myself as a conductor. I’m always trying to make things that can funnel through my set of opinions and come out clean. My paintings feel more rooted in problem solving, while my music feels more celestial and ever-expanding. I’m most interested in artists who are top-to-bottom about their approach to making.

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Anastasia Coope, “He Is On His Way Home, We Don’t Live Together,” Darning Woman