Evan Anstey escapes the blues with a trip to Arizona in his new single and video — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Taken from the Middleport, N.Y. singer-songwriter’s new album Things Changed, Arizona was inspired by the somewhat turbulent events he experienced while working on the LP. “Between the fall of 2018 and the fall of 2022, a lot of things changed,” Anstey explains. “I had scrapped half the songs I planned to record, in favor of some new compositions. I left a few bands, joined new ones, suffered through heartache, left my religion behind and endured some of the darkest days of my life.”
An ode to lighter times, Arizona opens with a stirring guitar and fiddle intro before Anstey starts singing against a steady train-like rhythm that creates a sense of wistful wanderlust, enhancing the emotional impact of his lyrical wish for a place to beat the blues. By the time the chorus kicks in, the vocals are passionate and soaring as he sings of Arizona and the state’s gorgeous mountain views:
“Sky is still dark, and the sun has yet to rise
A time zone change as the jet plane flies
I have a ticket to escape these winter blues
Who knew this month could have these views?
Hardly a cloud in endless blue over the mountain view.”
Anstey’s own musical journey began at the age of 8 when he took up the violin as well as mandolin, guitar and electric bass. In 2016, he released his debut EP Recent Time. Since then, he has released 2018’s We Will Be At Peace, 2020’s The Weekend Preacher — a collaboration with friend James Robert Kibby — and the 2021 EP Alternates I.
With his growing body of work, Anstey has crafted a sound influenced by everyone from bluegrass pioneers like Flatt & Scruggs and the progressive sounds of Nickel Creek to more modern folk singers like Aoife O’Donovan, John Paul White and Declan O’Rourke.