On Stage

The Alcove


American songwriter Anna St. Louis takes notes from a wide spectrum of classic folk and country artists when forming her dusty, wistful sound, but sculpts those inspirations into something uniquely her own. Relocating to Los Angeles after college, St. Louis fell in with a scene of like-minded music-makers, eventually releasing her debut cassette, First Songs, on Kevin Morby’s Mare label in 2017. Press for this homespun release was glowing, and the next year, St. Louis released a proper debut in the form of If Only There Was a River on the Woodsist label. Her 2023 sophomore effort, In the Air, expanded St. Louis’ sound with richer arrangements and orchestral touches.

Anna St. Louis grew up in Kansas City and was interested in painting and singing with punk bands throughout her youth. Moving into creating solo music, St. Louis looked to the influence of evergreen favorites like Neil Young, Patsy Cline, Elizabeth Cotten, and Buffy Sainte-Marie, wrapping these jumping-off points around a melancholy and decidedly Midwestern approach to bare-bones indie folk. Her first songs appeared in 2015 in the form of rough online demos. Roughly a year after First Songs, St. Louis’ debut full-length, If Only There Was a River, was released, with production help from Morby and King Tuff’s Kyle Thomas. Promotional touring surrounded the album’s release, including dates opening for Waxahatchee.

After years of touring and live performance, St. Louis entered a period of dormancy where she lived quietly in Upstate New York, working as a hotel clerk while writing new songs. These slowly manifested songs appeared on her second album, In the Air, which was recorded in two extensive L.A. sessions with help from producer Jarvis Taveniere and a host of friends and guest musicians who included contributors to Spoon, Vagabon, and Cut Worms, among others. The more sonically evolved and musically sophisticated sophomore effort was released again on the Woodsist label in June of 2023.