Dressed in chunky black dress shoes with her arms raised out the the sides, indie pop Artist Anna Shoemaker stood in the middle of a small stage and sang to the audience. Behind her, a screen of artificial yellow sunflowers glowed under the bright blue lights.
On Oct. 8, Shoemaker opened for alternative indie band Foreign Air. DC’s Songbyrd Music House was the last stop on their “Hello Sunshine” tour.
Although Foreign Air’s fan base clearly did not include many (or any) college-aged girls, 27-year-old Shoemaker quickly captured our attention with her infectious energy. She lit up the dark venue with her bright vocals, shining smile, and vibrant orange manicure. As Shoemaker jumped across the stage, her short, messy haircut seemed to be dancing along.
The 27-year-old Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter released her first single, “What Am I Doing to Me?” in 2018. Since then, she has come out with multiple singles, two EPs, and one album, the 2022 “Everything is Fine (I’m Only on Fire).” Shoemaker’s songs generally feature smooth and catchy melodies mixed with sleek synths and drum machines. However, lately she has been branching out and experimenting with grittier sounds, yielding a more original and complex sound. Her music is honest, emotional, and thoughtful, but that doesn’t detract from its young, free, dance-with-your-best-friends feel.
Shoemaker looked like she was having a fantastic time and made sure her audience had a memorable night as well. Whenever she noticed somebody filming, she provided legendary Instagram stories and ended up serenading multiple iPhone cameras throughout the short set.
Credit: Lizzie Short
Leaving the stage, Shoemaker invited fans to meet her in the back of the venue. Most of the audience seemed to be fans of Foreign Air, but everyone had fallen in love with Shoemaker. I caught bits of the conversation behind me: “She’s gonna blow up,” they assured each other. It clearly won’t take long for her to become the headliner.
Lizzie is a freshman in the College.