Going Through It, by Eliza McLamb album review by Greg Walker for Northern Transmissions


Going Through It

Eliza McLamb

“The time before knowing / the silence preceding a knock at the door,” Eliza McLamb sings to open her debut album of confessional, country-influenced indie songs, called Going Through It. It could be a lyric that refers to the moment leading up to the rocky years of adolescent womanhood, or as the case may be, her proclamation for a 12 track album which is about to serenade you with sorrow and beauty, Taylor Swift or Lucy Dacus-worthy tunes, as Eliza pulls back the curtain. “Losing is so long / All my love stuck in a time that will always be gone.”

That “losing” includes memories of a sometimes rocky family life,(“The hospital wants me to let my mother go home / I said I won’t give consent for that over the phone”), bouts with an eating disorder, (“Just a boring anorexic / Brain addled, sympathetic / To all who thought me so special and pathetic,”) and grappling with unrealistic expectations of womanhood and romance, (“And every time / that you say ‘he loves me’ / I say ‘that’s not what love means’”).

The song construction (which takes a lot from country music’s modal sensibilities, but adds an indie twist) is impeccable and the production (done by Sarah Tudzin of Illuminati Hotties) captures every whispered coo or raw-throated shout, alongside all the evocative instrumentation, never overshadowing Eliza’s disarming but discerning voice and story. She is a sensitive soul: “No one cares as much as you for the ordinary / Crybaby.” But she is not afraid to call people out on their destructive tendencies, even herself.

Like the hit single, “Mythologize Me,” where she sings, “Make me in your perfect image of a girl / So sweet but always incomplete and grateful for / Your needs to give me meaning.” She has a sense for nuance and feeling, in both her storytelling and in her song construction; a sensibility that I find more mature, perhaps, than Taylor Swift’s lauded writing. But like Taylor Swift, before her, she is soundtracking the toughest, most memorable years of her listeners’ lives, with grace, creativity, and hope. “Isn’t it enough / to wake up?” she ends the album on an empathetic high note. The journey to that moment where we wake up, can, however, be filled with some less than savory dreams.

Order Going Through It By Eliza McLamb HERE


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