Behind The Scenes: Anna’s Anchor On Lyrics


“A nautical mile is a little bit longer than a mile. I find that with everything I do, be it academically, work or music related, I always have to work a little harder to get where I want to,” explains Marty Ryan, the man, heart and soul behind the Limerick based indie-emo-punk act, of his recent release’s title.

Nautical Miles is certainly a befitting debut album name for an artist who won’t let simple geography stand in the way of “writing and releasing as much music as possible.” Laying down Nautical Miles saw Marty spend all of January 2016 criss-crossing the Irish Sea for studio sessions with producer Bob Cooper. Marty enlisted his pal Brian Scally to lay down drums, before handling all other instrumentation and vocals himself. The fruit of his labour is a soulful amalgam of emo, indie and pop, reminiscent of Jimmy Eat World and Into It. Over It. Following its release on release on 23rd September, Marty now gives you further insight into Anna’s Anchor, by talking on the subject of lyrics…

How do you write lyrics? What is your process?
The lyrics for Anna’s Anchor are a real focal point and priority so typically a lot of work goes into them. It’s something I thoroughly enjoy and find therapeutic. I have a journal where I jot down song ideas that come into my head as they happen and bits of lyrics I find interesting. Completely separately I’ll write some rough outline of a song on guitar and think about how that makes me feel, what kind of mood, then I match it to the list of topics I want to talk about and get off my chest. I try to make the lyrics as brutally / painfully honest as possible.

What is the lyric you’re proudest of and why?
Maybe the chorus of Hampton, “as a father, you had to turn your back on your daughter”. It refers to the moment where I watched my family fall apart due to alcohol abuse, it was such a tough thing to go through and watch. Something that has happened to so many people, to put that kind of content out there is really as personal as it gets, so I think I fulfilled the Anna’s Anchor mission statement of “Honest songs for honest people”

What themes and topics do you like to cover and why?
Anything I feel I need to get off my chest that I find hasn’t been told or said from my perspective before. I have no interest in writing the same old typical love song, it’s been done a million times. I try my best to get to the real stuff that are going around me and that bother me or evoke a reaction.

Has anyone ever misheard, perhaps to comedic effect, or misunderstood the intention of your lyrics?
Not really, sometimes reviews get the concept pretty wrong and go to the cliched, this is about love loss which in some regards is true for the new record, but not the typical whiney pop punk I lost my girlfriend kind of way. But for the most part, if someone takes the lyrics their own, that’s cool by me, I’m glad they found something out of it regardless.

Which of your own lyrics best sums up your music?
“We are the substitute people that fill in the gaps, to make you happy for what you have” taken from Do You?, The band is a personal diary for myself and that lyric really refers to how I feel I stand at the moment and that song is about how ticked off I get from people feeling entitled and better than others. I just can’t understand how a person can feel that way. I want to look after everyone as best I can.

If you had to have any lyric tattooed on you, if you don’t already, what would you pick?
I wouldn’t get lyrics tattooed to be honest because I go through waves of thinking, those are the best lyrics I’ve heard, only to grow out of them. But right now, what I’m currently feeling as the best lyrics are from Camp Adventure by Delta Sleep, “the ceiling around us, has denied its existence”. Amazing metaphor for that safety net overhead being pulled away and everything landing on top of you, so clever.

What lyric do you wish you’d written and why?
“Why won’t you love me back” from foxing’s Rory. It’s so simple, I would never put that in a song because I think it’d be too obvious and cheesy but in that song, the emotion backs it up, such a simple but insanely powerful line. Chills everytime!

Who are your favourite lyricists? What are some of the lines that best connect with you? Do you take influence from that?
My opinion on lyrics changes with the weather but for all time, I’d have to put Robert Smith from The Cure up there. Also the singer from Iron Chic, everyone of their songs have genius lines in them that really get me inspired.

What are the worst lyrics you’ve ever heard?
“Woooah oh oh” “oh oh oh” “woah eh ah oh” – every pop song ever. You have to got to have more going on I your head that you want to tell the word than that shite. We can remember more than that moronic stuff, get real, be honest.

Finally, please sign off with some lyrical words of wisdom…
I’m somewhat fearful of giving a wise wisdom lyric as it’ll probably sound like a crap Instagram post that people make to seem “deep” and it’s just shite. As long as you’re getting something out of the lyrics that you’re writing, I back it.


Anna’s Anchor Released Nautical Miles on 23/09/16.

12” vinyl & CD Formats:
Ireland/ROW via Never Meant –
UK via Struggletown –
Pay What You Want Download With Profits Going To Limerick Suicide Watch:

About Natalie Humphries 1797 Articles
Soundscape's editor, who is particularly fond of doom, black metal and folk (but will give anything a chance). Likes to travel to see bands abroad when she can. Contact: or @acidnat on twitter.

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