Anja McCloskey is a singer-songwriter and accordionist from the U.K. who writes dramatic songs that positively burst with atmosphere and texture. Her latest single (and accompanying video) “And Her Head,” which was inspired by a tragic event in her grandfather’s life, is a stirring mix of strings, violin, as well as Anja’s trademark vocals and accordion. It’s a bold choice, certainly, to center a musical career around an instrument that many regard as a novelty, but there is no hint of irony here. For Anja, the accordion is a thing of beauty and love.
Here’s how she describes it: “Ever since my grandpa started playing his accordion to me as a little child I have wanted to play it too. I just love the deep and full sounds and the little quirky noises the accordion makes and I don’t know any other instrument that can be so versatile and expressive.” Despite the thematic components of her songs, Anja is quick to challenge the assertion that this is Folk music: “I didn’t grow up or learn in a folk environment at all,” says Anja. “The accordion is obviously a folk instrument and I have been exposed to a lot of folk-inspired music since living in the UK, but my music owes just as much to classical.”