First/Last – Swampwalk

February 17, 2017

“To my dad Joe Hale for letting me use his practice space as a studio space and letting me drink his beers and always emptying the dehumidifier and also for instilling a love of writing music and giving the middle finger to the man.”

Swampwalk is the handle of synth folk Pittsburgh songwriter Anna Hale who is your modern day one woman band. With an arsenal of pedals, tables and electronic doo-dads, Anna cranks up the volume and shreds her guitar making the uninitiated a quick fan. I want to thank Anna for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Can’t say I remember the first full album I bought. Luckily I have a cool dad and a cool older sister, but I do know that Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” single was my first cassette purchase and my first CD’s were singles too – “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion and “How Do I Live?” By LeAnn Rhimes.
  • Your last album bought?
  • The new Jens Lekman Life Will See You Now cassette arrived in the mail today!!
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • TOUGH. AHHH!!! I’ve really come to love everything Stevie Wonder in my later years and I never get tired of Innervisions. Most played might be Lifted by Bright Eyes though…
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • Aw, if you made an album I’m proud of you.
  • First concert attended?
  • Flogging Molly.
  • Last concert?
  • National: Rakim, Junglepussy at VIAahhhHhH.
  • Local: Glo Phase, Ganemyde, FAWNN, Blacklisted.
  • That I played: Stef Chura, Calyx.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • So many good shows. Always love seeing Andrew Bird. Mates of State have always put on a good show. Jens Lekman
  • Least favorite concert?
  • Lol, I’ll never tell! Well, I guess I was in NYC one year for new years eve and paid 50 bux for DJ’s who dropped us into dead air a couple times. Smh, they’re lucky I don’t remember their names. LOL. Also, any concert where jerky dudes have said mean/dismissive stuff to ladies on the bill.
  • Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • The trees, the rivers, the trails, the good people, all the activists and unsung heroes who work all the time to make Pittsburgh cool and “livable,” hearing someone proudly describe what a pierogi is, or what yinz means, all the cool characters. Once a kid got excited that I was Swampwalk at a Circle K and I don’t think anything can top that for me. Oh, Pittsburgh.
  • Thanks, Anna. Full disclosure to the readers out there, I have known Anna since she was a baby having worked with her father in the 90’s and it is amazing to see her make her mark in the Pittsburgh DIY music community. When I put two and two together and figured out she was Swampwalk, I was just as excited as that kid at Circle K!