Anna Coddington

By Patrick Campbell

Being in the middle of a tour, making music and preparing for a baby due in December, you would think that Anna Coddington wouldn't have time for interviews. But somehow, she has found the time in her busy schedule to talk to us about her Silver Scroll nomination, latest single and tour, and what comes next in her life. This is what happened:

First of all, a huge congratulations on your nomination for the Silver Scroll this year. What does this sort of recognition mean to you?

It means a lot to me because I've always considered songwriting to be my favourite part of making music. I've always thought it was my strong point over singing, playing guitar, performing or anything else. I work hard at all aspects but the songwriting is the most important to me. And the fact that it's voted on by APRA members is good too. I was surprised to make the top 5 and to me it says that the people who voted really listened to and considered the songs before casting their vote.

What was your inspiration behind the song "Bird in Hand", and what makes the song so special in your opinion?

Bird In Hand came in a pretty dark personal time for me, just before I resurfaced and started coming right again. So I think it's special because it's the most succinct way I could conceptualise everything I was feeling at the time, and I always think the songs that capture people are the ones thatcan say something quite simple or something we've all felt, but in a new way that might not have thought to express it. It's about possession, loss, acceptance, and admitting to feelings I was trying to put another label on at the time.

As well as being nominated for the Silver Scroll, you are also in the middle of a nation-wide tour promoting your new single "Make you Mine". Do you prefer touring, or being in the studio?

Both can be the ultimate joy or the pits. I love performing and meeting people and seeing their reactions to new songs (this tour has been great for that), but as I said my favourite part of music is making new songs so I completely delight in sitting in my home studio making demos. But yeah- both are great in very different ways.

What is your favourite aspect of touring?

As above - meeting people and seeing them enjoy your music. But also I love the unexpected adventures you sometimes are privileged to enjoy as a touring musician. If people enjoy seeing you play they often want to reciprocate in some way and I've experienced cool stuff like being taken kayaking in beautiful spots in NZ, being shown around a glass blowing studio, being stuck in lock-ins and drinking till the early hours... all that stuff is great. NZ is awesome for summer touring because you can work in swim stops and it's the best.

After the tour and Silver Scrolls, what do you have planned for the end of the year, and what do you want to accomplish in the next year?

Well, I'm actually having a baby in early December so I imagine that will take up a few months. So I'll be focussing on that after the Silver Scrolls, I have a lot to learn, it's terrifying! But I do have another couple of singles to release and am aiming to get my third album out next year. And then tour again I hope. Then make another album. Tour. Repeat.

You have a lot of references to birds in different aspects of your music, it has become a recurring theme for you almost, why is this?

I know. I didn't really do it on purpose I just am a little bit entranced by birds. Tui are my favourite (there's one on the cover of my last album and one in the artwork for Make You Mine). I suppose birds are a handy metaphor for beautiful things that you can't keep or contain, or at least shouldn't. The beauty of them is that they can come and go so freely that if you happen to see one you like up close and get to enjoy it for a time you feel lucky. I do anyway.

What is one of your favourite experiences that you have had because of music?

There are so many. Performing with 40-odd friends as part of Eru Dangerspiel, or kayaking down a river in Wanaka the day after an amazing show there. Performing at amazing festivals in beautiful parts of NZ (WOMAD and Rippon are my favourites). Tour jogs! Running in Wanaka and Nelson and other beautiful parts if the country. Etc.

Finally, when will we be able to hear the next Anna Coddington album?

Next year sometime!

Anna's single "Make You Mine" is out now, and she is still on tour so catch her at a show near you if you can.

The APRA Silver Scroll Awards are being held on Tuesday the 15th of October and will be live-streamed on the NZ Herald website.