Valentine’s Day, we’ve moved on, but love is still in the air with the latest single from singer-songwriter Annelle Staal. A bright, spring, “nostalgia pop” song about falling in love, “My Girl” is one of those tracks you put on when you need to hear sunshine.
Annelle is an artist that experiments with sounds and genres from soul to throwback soundscaping, and those vibes that make “My Girl” fit right in with all of our favorite classic love songs. Annelle calls the feelings the song evokes “a fresh start that makes you feel sentimental” and a song they “can’t help but smile and dance” to. It’s a wholesome, feel-good track that checks all of the boxes.
We caught up with Annelle to get an inside look at “My Girl” and the love behind it.
Showstopper Magazine Online: Hi, Annelle! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Annelle Staal: Hi! I’m Annelle, I’m a full-time songwriter, performer, and entertainer. I’m passionate about music, cats, and spaghetti.
SMO: How did you get into music/songwriting?
Annelle: I fell in love with performance and storytelling through musical theater, but I fell in love with songwriting through poetry. Music and words have always had a profound effect on me, and I love the way they allow us to communicate the mysteries of our heart in such a clear way.
SMO: Where do you draw inspiration for your music and lyrics?
Annelle: The human experience is generally very inspiring to me. I write about the ponderings of my own heart and am easily inspired by nature and society. Sometimes my writing is very personal and introspective, but I also write about love and philosophy.
SMO: Your song “My Girl” came out last week! What sparked this idea? How did it all come together?
Annelle: I publicly came out last year, and wanted to write a song that celebrated queer joy. This song feels like summer. It’s melt-in-your-mouth sweet and deeply nostalgic. I wrote it about my first girlfriend and the joy of a first love really does feel like that. My producer and I recorded this track in LA and shared so much laughter during our session. We knew it was special from the start.
SMO: Do you have a favorite line from “My Girl”?
Annelle: I love the “days of the week” line in the second chorus, “I practice with a cherry stem on Monday, stomach in knots no sleepin’ Tuesday night, I catch a plane on Wednesday morning hazy, Thursday I wear her lipstick like it’s mine.”
SMO: You have called “My Girl” “nostalgic pop.” What does that mean to you?
Annelle: I ADORE 2000s pop. I grew up with it, and “My Girl” feels very reminiscent of the pop music I listened to when I was in middle school. Warm, acoustic sounds that still feel a bit dancey. It works well with the rise of 90s and 2000s culture now, and I think those decades feel nostalgic to a lot of young adults and teens today.
SMO: The song came out right after Valentine’s Day. What kind of love are you hoping people take from “My Girl”?
Annelle: The pure, celebratory joy of a first love is something many of us can relate to. It’s special, hopeful, and warm. I hope listeners romanticize their sunny drives, beach days, and chilled afternoons as the weather heats up.
SMO: You’re also a Twitch streamer. Can you tell us about your work there?
Annelle: I started streaming in 2020 when the pandemic canceled my tour. Making live content on the internet is unique and vulnerable, but is also an amazing tool to connect with people around the world. The musical experience I’m able to share with people is intimate and personal, but it’s also emboldened me as a person. I’m loud, colorful, and spontaneous. When I celebrate my personality, I make space for others to be themselves too.
SMO: Is there any overlap between your music and your streams?
Annelle: Of course! My streams are a marriage between music and comedy. I do improvisational stand-up and incorporate my original work, as well as take requests.
SMO: Is there anything else you want people to know about you or your work?
Annelle: I lead with my heart always, and I believe the best music [that] is written is deeply honest. Whether it’s honesty about love, loss, longing, or joy, I strive to tell the story truly and wholeheartedly.
“My Girl” is streaming now. You can catch Annelle live on Twitch every weekend.