BEING given presents or gifts is one of life's little treats.

We can be given Christmas presents, a birthday present, we can find an Easter Egg on a DVD and we can be given a gift if we are creative.

This means an idea, a thought comes out of no where and suddenly a painting, a sculpture or a song seemingly magically materialises fully formed but we created it.

Some call it a muse and the musical muse is responsible for what US singer-songwriter and rising indie star Anna Coogan feels she has been given.

She said: "The creative process feels good as does the act of rehearsing and recording. It is good to be an independent musician and although at times it is a struggle, both physically, mentally and financially in the end it is all worth it.

"When the muse arrives it is the best high you have ever had and these songs I would say are gifts.

"Getting these gift songs is like being hit by a car as it is like being separated in a different world.

"For 300 days you might struggle and are a working musician but for some of the rest these songs just appear, fully formed out of no where.

"Some of the songs I have written which I would call gift songs include Holy Ghosts of Texas, Crooked Sea and The Lonely cry of space and time.

"Some of these songs can change your life as it makes you look at chunks of your life differently such as who you want to work with and which direction you wish to go."

Somerset County Gazette:

These gift songs and musical direction can be seen by us in Somerset as she will be appearing in the county at Loves Cafe in Weston-Super-Mare on Wednesday, October 18.

As part of her gift to us she will be playing songs from her new record The Lonely Cry of Space & Time.

Anna has been influenced by the likes of Kate Bush, Jane Siberry, Lene Lovich, Yoko Ono and Freddie Mercury.

But The Lonely Cry of Space & Time has her own stamp and is something different from those who have inspired her to become a musician.

Speaking about what music means to her, Anna said: "Right now music is my salvation and hope for the future and sometimes it is something to listen too.

"I really think all through history it has brought out the best in humanity and so much good music even through times are troubled.

"I have been thinking about that (not many protest songs) and there is not a cohesive group which has been doing anything. I would love to get back to that rock 'n' roll v the man.

"There was a Katie Perry song Chained to the Rhythm which while sounding like Euro-pop was interesting if you actually listened to the lyrics.

"I think there is interesting music out there but you have to listen to the lyrics.

"In music you need more than three chords and the truth. You need to stretch your net wider.

"I have started to record a lot of audio sounds. I have one at the moment of the New York subway train which and of a power hammer. It is interesting listening to these sounds and aiming to incorporate them into music.

"I am sure it does as we are all influenced by our homeland and how and where you grew up.

"I come from New England which is a mixture of folk tradition and some rock 'n' roll.

"Sometimes I go back to the maritime music of the area where I come from or even classical music.

"But you always try to be a bit hipper and get ideas which are not pot boilers.

"This new record is more or less a political statement and a dialogue of the current state of affairs which speaks for itself.

"What I want to do through music is to bring joy and beauty to people's lives."