Anne Malin started recording an album with producer Andrija Tokic in August, 2019, but she only got around to recording two songs before the project was delayed due to COVID. Today those two songs—“Destroyer” and “Redeemer”—arrive as the arresting lead singles off the poet and musician’s forthcoming record Summer Angel, due June 17 via Dear Life Records. “Andrija immediately blew me away with his energy and confidence; he helped ‘Destroyer’ have levity, a tone representative of me being in control of—or ably moving with—my narrative rather than being defeated by it,” Malin shares. “He helped establish the depth of ‘Redeemer,’ too.”
Both singles find Malin grappling with profound hurt and loss, but the former is more outwardly triumphant than the latter. Still, both songs share a theme of resilience and serve as vehicles for Malin's haunting, quivering vocals. On “Destroyer” in particular, Malin makes singing sound like an act of self-preservation: “If you came to destroy / You’ve already failed,” she gleams.
“I wrote ‘Destroyer’ when I was 18 or 19, and having nearly a decade in between writing it and releasing it has been such a special experience,” says Malin. “While I feel it represents a version of myself that I’m no longer embodying, I’m invested in the open-ended ways in which this song still speaks to—and reaches—real senses of love and hurt and loss across time and space.”
Malin continues: “Following the declarative mode of ‘Destroyer,’ ‘Redeemer’ represents whatever’s more than vulnerability: a sense of being bowled over by loss—and, still, the ways in which that loss affects the self, the sense of self. I wrote this following the death of someone dear to me, someone who left this world way too soon. This loss upended my perception; it made grief be my compass. I navigated, for a while, focused only on what I could not bear to lose. Still, ‘Redeemer’ is hopeful, idealistic even, in its conditional logic: ‘If some small word could deliver this world…’”