DesMoines, Iowa based singer and musician, Anja McCloskey moves between cultures. Deliberate and straightforward as a songwriter, she could be called distinctly American. But her musical sensibilities are European. With amazing clarity, her voice wraps itself around her lyrics and with her skillful accordion, she carries one away to a place of mystery and enchantment. Anja uses her accordion to its best dramatic advantage yet blends well with the more subtle stringed instruments of her band mates.
Her single, “A Kiss” has been called “gypsy cabaret” and hailed as “simply magnificent” by the press upon the 2012 release of her full length debut album, “An Estimation”. Anja also received an “Emerging Excellence” award for the album from the Musicians Benevolent Fund.
The daughter of a father from Midwestern America and a German mother, Anja spent most of her life in Europe, but migrated to the U.S. in 2012. When she was a child, she decided to study the accordion, as her first instrument, as she watched her grandfather play it at family gatherings. She has since studied piano, voice and clarinet. Anja has performed with the group Musikschule Elmshorn, in Germany. She has also worked and performed with groups in the U.K. such as The Irrepressibles, as well as Haunted Stereo, Helen McCookerybook, Ana Silvera, Katy Carr, Etao Shin, Moneytree and David Miatt of Thomas Tantrum. After tours in the U.S. and Canada in 2013 and 2014, Anja released her second album, “Quincy Who Waits”. Anja McCloskey has been given credit for “smart songwriting” and for “ethereal” “vocals that will set your world ablaze”.
With her use of her instrument’s deep tone chamber and her tendency to lean toward minor chords, her original music has a lot in common with Russian or Gypsy folk melodies. Stereoboard Magazine notes that “sound of the accordion to give an eerie, mournful impression that will stay with you”.
Anja obtained a degree in print journalism and she is a contributor to the music magazine “Wears the Trousers”. Anja McCloskey records with Sotones Records.