Rising pop singer-songwriter Anna Clendening has released her Atlantic Records-debut EP, Evolve, available now alongside a poignant Joe DeSantis-directed music video for new single “Love Song” (copenned alongside Sam Fisher). Beginning with Anna stranded in a desolate wasteland, the visual elegantly juxtaposes the literal isolation Anna experiences with the loneliness associated with the sour end of the relationship she croons about in the song. Further on, Anna finds her way out of the barren desert, paralleling her ability to find closure and become emotionally vulnerable again.
“After many attempts at failed relationships, I have finally come to realize I need to love myself first before anyone else. This EP is a reflection of the things I’ve done and the progress I have made. This is a story of growth, of evolving.” – ANNA CLENDENING
The 5-track collection showcases the Chapel Hill-born, Los Angeles-based artist’s introspective songwriting and penchant for anthemic choruses – also featuring previously released stand-outs “Sorry That I Do That” and “Get Me,” the latter of which was hailed by Idolator as “an emotional post breakup anthem.”
Clendening relates through unfiltered lyrics ripped right from her notebook, robust vocals quaking with emotion, and brutal honesty. These ingredients struck a chord with listeners everywhere when she released her RIAA-certified Gold single “Boys Like You” in 2017, amassing over 100 million streams and critical acclaim from the likes of Billboard, Ones To Watch, Refinery29 & more. Meanwhile her debut EP, 2019’s Waves, generated over 150 million streams in under six months as she joined gnash on the road and headlined her own Waves Tour. Clendening has also lent her voice to high-profile collaborations with Illenium (“Broken Ones”), Lost Kings (“Too Far Gone”), Phantoms (“Say It”) and most recently Matoma (“Let It Go”) before signing to Atlantic Records earlier this year.
In tandem with her honest songwriting, Clendening has proven to be a source of universal encouragement and an incredible advocate for mental health awareness. Sharing openly with fans about her own mental health journey managing anxiety – eventually diagnosed as a symptom of borderline personality disorder – she’s continually channeled these challenges through the healing power of music, and her new EP is no exception. Showcasing refreshing candor, Evolve tackles these issues head on as she details the cyclical nature of her past romantic relationships. An evolution relatable to anyone who has tried their hand at love. Or being human, for that matter.
“About five years ago, someone came up to me and said, ‘By fighting through your anxiety in this huge uncomfortable moment on stage, you made me feel so comfortable’,” shares Clendening. “I was like, ‘Well shit, now I’m in it. I’ve got to be open about it.’ I want you to be able to scream my music in the car. I wantyou to feel like the things going through your head are normal. I want you to feel empowered. I want you to feel loved. I am loud. I am obnoxious. I am a potty mouth. I’m very emotional. I write music. I wear sweatpants. I’m myself. I’m just fucking human, man.”
2.Sorry That I Do That
5.Call It Like It Is
OVERALL RATING: 4½ stars