ALBUM REVIEW: Anna McClellan – ‘I Saw First Light’

OMAHA’S Anna McLennan has just released her third album, I Saw First Light, on Father/Daughter Records.

This new album by the Midwesterner was recorded over two weeks with a multitude of local cohorts in her hometown in Nebraska; it’s a love letter to collaboration and how you engage with influences.

This is an album full of perception and piano-driven indie pop songs which has led to people compare McClellan to Fiona Apple.

McClellan reminded this listener of another Anna, that being Anna Burch; another solo star who engages us with tales of relationships and social issues but with a strong individualistic slant to her songwriting.

The rollicking “Feel You” is a call to arms from wanting someone to hold but remaining individual; these thoughts go hand in hand with the ruminations found on tracks such as “Raisin” and “To Prove”.

These little sub-three minute nuggets recall a band she toured with in 2016-17, Frankie Cosmos; not to mention the work of Tony Molina, who similarly artist shares playful, bitesize portions of energy.

There is a real tenderness as well to this album, harking back to a bygone era; Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette seeping into this Nebraskan’s work in places such as the beautiful violins on “Gone”.

This album is about connecting with the outside world; her wistful vocal delivery coupled with the lush instrumentation marks McClellan as one to watch.

While this may be her third album, you get the feeling this is merely the tip of the iceberg and there is so much more in terms of potential and ability at her disposal.

I Saw First Light is out from Father/Daughter Records now on digital download, cassette, CD and split orange and pink vinyl.

You can follow Anna McClellan on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Bandcamp.

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