Member-supported news for Southern California
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Support for KPCC comes from:

Arcade Fire's Will Butler breaks down his song, 'Anna'

Ways to Subscribe
Will Butler's solo album, "Policy," was released in March, 2015.
Will Butler's solo album, "Policy," was released in March, 2015.

Will Butler of Arcade Fire sat down with Hrishikesh Hirway for the Song Exploder podcast to dissect "Anna," featured on Butler's solo album, "Policy."

Host/producer of the podcast Song Exploder and regular Frame contributor, Hrishikesh Hirway, met with Will Butler for his latest episode. Butler is a member of the band Arcade Fire and co-writer of the Oscar-nominated score for the film "Her." Butler deconstructs the making of the song "Anna," which is a track from his debut solo album, "Policy," released earlier this year.

"Policy" was recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, which Butler says is "like recording a record in your house." In fact, Jimi Hendrix's former apartment is upstairs.

"Anna" began as a "nonsense song" for his son, Alvin, says Butler, and was originally recorded with the voice memo app on his phone. Then after recording the initial songs for the album with Jeremy Gara, drummer for Arcade Fire, Butler decided to make a track out of one of the voice memos during some free time. And "Anna" was chosen.

The tune, Butler's 1970s synthesizer, his sister-in-law, "West Side Story" and religion all played a part in inspiring the final composition. 

Hrishikesh Hirway edited down the original segment for The Frame. You can hear the full version at songexploder.net.

Stay Connected