Rooted in the mountains but seasoned by travels across the world, Anya Hinkle’s music always evokes a sense of place — tied to the telling details of where she’s been, yet universal to those seeking a connection to home. Now, as she emerges from membership in Tellico to take a place in the spotlight as a solo artist, Hinkle debuts her first single under her own name, capturing the raw honesty of her personal songwriting with “Road Of The Winds” on Organic Records.
Alternating moody verses with a singable chorus, “Road Of The Winds” expresses a longing for motion that defines both an end and a beginning for the song’s narrator. Throughout, Hinkle’s distinctive voice is framed by a hand-picked group of musicians drawn from the rich musical community around western North Carolina: fiddler Julian Pinnelli, mandolinist Thomas Cassell (Circus No. 9), renowned resonator guitarist Billy Cardine, bass player Johnny Calamari, and harmony singer Mary Lucey. Produced by Jon Weisberger, the single is an auspicious start to the new stage of Hinkle’s career.
The singer-songwriter says her graduate school studies inspired her to write this song. “Before I began singing, I was in graduate school studying botany. I was researching ancient Polynesian migration in the South Pacific and the plants that people carried with them on their journeys. More than a thousand years before Columbus, Polynesian people departed the Asian continent in great canoes, voyaging thousands of miles before eventually reaching tiny islands in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean like Hawaii and Tahiti,” says Hinkle. “It boggles the imagination to think of the courage and faith it would take to get in a boat and sail into the sunrise toward a new homeland that you hadn’t ever seen and didn’t even know existed.”
“Similarly, we all are constantly moving closer toward our own homeland, a place we sense is there, somewhere, if we can just pay attention and listen closely to our inner voice,” Hinkle continues. “It takes tremendous bravery and tenacity to believe that we can grow to become the person we were meant to be, doing the work we are meant to be doing. We are embarking on a great journey with each sunrise, with each day we are alive. This song helps me feel free to move ahead in new directions with boldness and conviction, even though I don’t exactly know where it will all lead. But like the ancient mariners of the Pacific, once you leave the shore you are committed to the journey — there is no turning back.”
Much in the same way, there is no turning back for Hinkle, who has launched a new artistic journey on a course — and with a voice — that’s hers alone.