Anna Westin’s “Bright Burning Mess” Breaks Up Old Foundations And Hints At New Beginnings

[Cover photo credit to John Haney]

Singer, songwriter, and poet Anna Westin, who hails from the UK by way of Canada, has released the second single from her upcoming album, LEV (the Hebrew word for “heart”). The single, “Bright Burning Mess”, which also opens the album, begins with some spoken word poetry, setting the thematic tone for the record as a whole.

Speaking to her inspirations for “Bright Burning Mess” and how the process of creating this song unlocked the album as whole, Westin writes:

“At first it was just a collection of songs. It was only later that the more recent songs brought it into a whole concept for an album. So, probably sitting in my new flat in Margate, wondering whether I should have moved to a town I didn’t know by the sea, excited about the possibility of what was next, mourning an old love. I remember distinctly – the flat, with one sofa, before the furniture was bought – the cold blast of sea air, the sense of anticipation, and making sense of a few dreams that I kept having. That’s where Bright Burning Mess started, and where the album emerged essentially.

There’s a Turner painting of the sea bed that reminds me of the movement of the piece – where Turner paints this churning brown muck that is caught up in the crystal blue storm sea, and there’s a bit of that in the piece – a sense of the underriding ’stuff’ pulled up from the deep, and the clear blue that transmits its own burning brightness of light across the horizon, reflecting sunset and moon and light and the vastness above, as it settles, as the day clears, like when we are going through something that causes the foundations to be broken up, and then find that we are on the other side, that the sea within has settled, and we are in the middle of a burning glorious brightness. All just feels like it has settled – like it is well again.”

Westin’s music draws inspiration from the Irish, choral and Swedish folk songs that she grew up with and brings them into the world of more modern and experimental Indie Folk, “trying to combine something ancient and almost monastic with something totally contemporary. A blending of time to create something beyond time”.

Cover art designed by Kate Young, John Paul Westin and Deborah Panes
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