Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Anastasia Coope

Photo credit – Anna Brief.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Already entrenched in her studies of painting at Pratt Institute, it wasn’t until last summer when Covid had everything shut down that Anastasia Coope began to see music as an additional storytelling device.

Armed with just Garageband and her mother’s old Martin acoustic, she began to put together what would later become her debut EP, ‘Seemeely,’ released this past summer, which is what you would get if early Cat Power and Animal Collective had an acoustic jam together.

The Music Bugle had the opportunity to talk with the Upstate N.Y.-based artist – whose layered, surrealistic music was inspired by the likes of Vashti Bunyan, Silver Jews and Daphne Oram – about her EP and more.

Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?

Anastasia Coope – Newness is always what’s exciting to me. I wouldn’t say I have a “style” of music. Creation, to me, is just a series of steps with the end goal of some sort of materialization. The materialization of newness, I suppose.

Music Bugle – What was it like making your debut single “Norma Ray”?

Anastasia Coope – “Norma Ray” was a really early piece of music for me. It was one of the first full songs that I wrote and felt excited by. I mostly work in the stream of consciousness style and the process of writing “Norma Ray” really solidified that way of working for me.

Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?

Anastasia Coope – I’ve been listening to a lot of Black Dice and Eric Copeland’s solo stuff recently. All of these albums really challenge my approach to creation. The album ‘Black Bubblegum’ by Eric Copeland in particular has been really important for me this. Black Dice has been huge for me for a long time and delving into the solo work has helped contextualize it all for me. They definitely materialize a world of newness for me.

Music Bugle – How would you describe Upstate New York to someone who has never been there before?

Anastasia Coope – Upstate life is very isolating, but very beautiful! Some great fields and forests to discover. Definitely a lot of folk stories here, too.

Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Anastasia Coope – Personally, the introspection that it has forced has been important to me. The time to myself has definitely solidified music as my life’s central work.

Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?

Anastasia Coope – I always go on walks! I think a lot of people that write would say this as well. I walk a lot every day and always try to find new routes. Never fails as a way to center oneself.

Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?

Anastasia Coope – I couldn’t say. Music has always been way too image-based, but it has been becoming exponentially more so since around 1980, I’d say.  I think social media allows musicians to paste a curated “look” of weirdness or depth onto music/art that plays it really safe. I have mixed feelings about social media. I only really use Instagram.

Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?

Anastasia Coope – Hmm. I’m not really one for quotes, more so lyrics. Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab’s lyrics are always something for me to go back to.

Music Bugle – What does today’s music industry need more of?

Anastasia Coope – I mean, the music industry is never going to be good, because the industry side of art is just a sad necessity, but I do see some interesting/refreshing things popping up here and there. 

Music Bugle – What has been your biggest challenge lately? 

Anastasia Coope – My biggest challenge has been organizing all of the songs I have into future EPs and LPs! (Laughs)

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