Singled Out: Syvia's Anxious Animal
I moved back to Chinatown, NYC to live with my parents in their bohemian loft after college and a brief stint in San Francisco. Unfortunately, our loft had no real walls -- a maze of bookcases that didn't reach the ceiling offered little in the way of sound barriers and privacy. Growing up I was used to it, but it was different in my early twenties when I was trying to be a serious musician. I often had to record demos of songs when my parents were just a couple of feet away. It was frustrating and many of my early songs ended up being about my parents, because I was torn -- I had to work on music but also knew it would disturb the quiet that was needed for my father to write and my mother to paint.
Often I just walked the streets to clear my head from the claustrophobia of the house and to figure out what I was doing with my life. Usually these walks were accompanied by songs like The Knife's "Heartbeats" on repeat. There were many emotional conversations with my parents about why I was choosing music over applying to graduate school or finding another career that was more stable. Despite knowing on an instinctive level that all I wanted was to be a musician, self-doubt would consume me after these conversations. I would wonder whether I was actually making the right choice, whether it was worth the risk that I might fail or "never be enough." Writing about how I felt in "Anxious Animal" was a way for me to come face to face with it and try and overcome its creative paralysis. The track, however, remained just a draft on my computer.
Syvia released our first full-length album FWD in February 2015, and I couldn't wait to work on new material. The band had been evolving over the years ever since I started it with my friend John Majer while I was touring as a backup singer with The Drums. Now, with Frank, Sheldon, and Rich, we were finding a dark, beautiful energy that seemed just right. So when "Anxious Animal" randomly came up on my playlist shuffle one day it dawned on me that it might be perfect for us.
"Anxious Animal," with its corners of shadowy dissonance, has always had a darkness about it, but now, at a different stage in my life and my career, the song seems more like an anthem of perseverance -- and that feels pretty damn good.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself here and learn more about the new EP and find details on their show at the Piano's in New York City this Saturday (January 16th) right here!