PLAYING DETROIT: Anya Baghina Asks “How Do You Do It?” on Intimate Solo Debut

COLUMNS|Playing Detroit

Detroit-based songwriter Anya Baghina (Soviet Girls) released her debut solo single this week – a gentle, haunting rumination on what today’s fast-paced “hookup culture” can do to the psyche, entitled “How Do You Do It?” Baghina’s dreamlike vocals narrate her internal turmoil on the subject, where she weighs the possibility of momentary companionship against the lingering feeling of loneliness that follows. “At times it can be empowering, especially as a woman,” says Baghina. “And other times it can feel like the complete opposite and leave you feeling empty.”

Baghina captures the feeling of emptiness with her dissonant melodies and repetitive song structure. Instead of feeling redundant, Baghina’s repetition of lyrics and chords lulls the listener into a numb hypnotic state, like being frozen by indecision. “I wanted to create a dreamlike, subconscious atmosphere to demonstrate how this confusion can haunt you and reoccur to make you question other beliefs,” says Baghina.

The song’s stripped-down production – sparse guitar, vocals, and organ – adds to its eerie nakedness, while Baghina’s voice imitates the tension of artificial intimacy followed by a rushed goodbye.  She sings, “Wake up and listen to yourself / wake up and watch for lonesome theft,” framing a fleeting romance as an escape from solitude. In the end, Baghina isn’t offering a judgment or a solution, just a question: “How do you do it and walk away?”

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