A month after graduating from Kenyon, Nick Petricca ’09 was writing in the basement of his home in Cincinnati when he received a text from his ex-girlfriend, who was visiting campus. “[The text] was something about ‘setting off fireworks in one of the quads and that it felt like a ghost town’ in the summer. That just felt so real and true to me,” said Petricca, who started crying and writing the lyrics that would become the verse and the bridge of the song.

It didn’t become “Anna Sun,” though, until the end, when Petricca and then-bandmate Nick Lerangis ’09 were playing around with “this little musical connector between the verse and the chorus that had this beautiful rising melody.” They were joking about Kenyon when Lerangis started singing “Anna Sun,” the name of a sociology professor, and it clicked.

“She’s a wonderful professor and was always such a bright, shining person on campus, as was her husband, Professor Yang Xiao, whom I had for philosophy,” Petricca said. “It’s not so much that the song is about Anna Sun, but that she has this beautiful name that seemed to represent the bright people who were there and the wisp of inspiration that could be anywhere at any time on campus.”

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