"I was small and timid and just so uncomfortable in my own skin so I had to build everything back up"
Most people’s New Year’s resolutions are humdrum: night-time pottery classes, travelling to more countries beginning with M, that sort of thing. For Anna B Savage, it has been to wank more.
Not your average objective for the year ahead, I say, sipping tea in the (extremely quiet) Queen Elizabeth Hall cafe on London’s Southbank, worried our booth neighbours are listening.
“Basically I wanted to wank more!” laughs Anna, suddenly not caring who can hear us. “I was sad that I had never thought to learn; I thought I could be in charge of that. I got to a point where I was reading all this feminist literature which made me realise I am not in control here; I am not getting off in a lot of the scenarios that I am having with heterosexual men so I need to take this into my own hands. Also, I love making lists and that was right at the top. Second on the list was to learn to whistle with my fingers in my mouth, which I also did!”
In basic terms, it turns out wanking was the creative catalyst Anna needed, the result being a new album set for release this year that deals head-on with female sexuality and discovery. It’s the next step from Anna’s breakthrough EP, that came out in 2015 followed by an abrupt silence. “Yeah I kind of disappeared,” she says. “I wasn’t having the best time in my own brain – that was the first thing that happened. People were nice about my first EP and I just wasn’t expecting it. I just thought I am never going to be able to write anything as good as that ever again. It’s quite funny as I released a single yesterday and people have been saying this is so great but my brain is already saying, ‘you’re never going to write anything as good as that again’, so I am like, ‘oh no not you again, shut up!’. I am better at batting my brain away today – that’s the difference between now and then.”