With the release of her 2005 debut, Anya Marina reinvented herself as a modern-day Renaissance woman: actress, comic, disc jockey, and quirky songwriter. Marina was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a town she eventually left in order to pursue acting in California. After appearing in the film 100 Girls (a role that required her to shave her eyebrows), she replaced her film aspirations with radio. She decamped to San Diego to work as a DJ for 92.5 FM, and the increased presence of music in her everyday life helped fuel her own songs.
Before long, Marina had created a buzz in San Diego as a songwriter. Miss Halfway, her debut album, cemented her status as a promising local musician, and a spot on the Grey's Anatomy soundtrack helped spread her music to a wider audience. Alexandra Patsavas, the music supervisor for Grey's Anatomy, also signed Marina to Chop Shop Records, which prompted Marina to leave her DJ gig and focus on her own music full-time. The sophomore album Slow & Steady Seduction: Phase II arrived in early 2009, following Marina's inclusion in the all-female leg of the Hotel Café Tour. The self-produced Spirit School EP appeared in 2010 and was followed by her third studio LP, Felony Flats, in 2012. Enlisting Leo Sidran, Gary Philips, Eric Hutchinson, and Death Cab for Cutie's Dave Depper to produce, 2016's Paper Plane was a capricious collection of love songs featuring several tunes co-written with Hutchinson. A year later, she returned with Serious Love, a four-song EP co-written and produced with former Hot Chelle Rae member Ian Keaggy. ~ Andrew Leahey