The Beauty in Ugly Stories: A Conversation with Anna Tivel

Critics have likened Anna Tivel’s songwriting to poetry, and it’s easy to see why. She cuts her words on glass, creating phrasing that is at once sharp, precise, and poignant. In the opening to “Alleyway,” she sings, “Smoke against the windowpane, just the semis breathing on the interstate, a gray upon the graying of October,” creating a scene in just two sentences packed full of sullen feeling.

But beyond her poetic sensibilities, Tivel is, at heart, a storyteller. Her new album, Small Believer, reveals a penchant for flaws — be they in characters, moments, or memories. The album opens the doors upon marginalized existences and the spaces that hold them; there are broken-down apartments once bursting at the seams with love, and broken-down characters who race the night back to unkept promises.

Read the full article at The Bluegrass Situation.

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