Album Review: Waves by Anna Clendening

Anna Clendening released her six-song debut EP, Waves, in February, and it is definitely one you don’t want to miss. Clendening is “rebranding what it means to be a pop star by creating uplifting tunes for the betterment of society” (Dominiq Robinson, AXS Contributor). This EP has a perfect balance of familiar yet unique sounds, both production and writing-wise. Clendening’s voice is nice to listen to, and the production of each song leaves you wanting more.

The EP begins with a song titled “Invisible.” The song talks about the struggle of being in love with someone that can’t reciprocate; someone who actually doesn’t know you exist.

“I’m in love with someone who doesn’t know I exist
I stare from afar in my hand-broken heart while I play pretend
I’m in love with someone who doesn’t know I exist
And it’s you, yes, it’s true, you don’t even know it, I can’t ever win”

This song is relatable, yet heartbreaking. The track draws you in from the moment Clendening starts singing, as she is already narrating a clear image in the listener’s mind. The production is simple, yet unique in the way that it highlights the vocals. The continuation of the EP explores themes of heartbreak and struggles Anna has faced throughout not only her career as a musician but the entirety of her life.

Anna has been very vocal about her struggles with severe anxiety and speaks to that in the third song on the EP titled “Anxiety.” The whole the EP brings the listener through the ups and downs- the “waves” she has been through. In a recent interview with Aaptiv, Anna spoke about the inspiration behind the EP. “That took a long time to put together and get out. It was very interesting. The title comes from one of my friends. I had this collection of songs, and I felt like they didn’t really go together. They were really up and down. There was no consistency. And he said you know I go from ‘Bend & Break’ to ‘Anxiety’ to ‘Drowning,’ and I just think of crashing waves. I realized this EP is waves. It’s ups and downs in your life,”(Nehal Aggarwal, Aaptiv writer).

Anna will be playing live at the Red Room at Cafe 939 this Saturday, 4/27 at 8:00 pm, with opener Gia Woods! Click here to get more info.