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[Album Review] Claire Anne Taylor – Giving It Away

What do you get when you mix the raw talent & raspiness of Janis Joplin, the melodic sweetness of Eva Cassidy, and the rock grit of Melissa Etheridge? Claire Anne Taylor, that’s what you get. Despite the many musicians that come to mind when listening to Claire, she still has her own uniquely distinct sound. The Tasmanian-born singer/songwriter released her third album Giving It Away on 16th February, and my god what an incredible piece of work it is. 

The opening track Swallowing Stones is a slow ballad with a warm accordion intro and lyrics that really hit hard, which is followed up by the tale of the child forced to grow up too fast in You Were Just a Kid. This particular song is a prime example of Claire’s exceptional storytelling talents. With it’s funky saloon-style piano intro, Dance With Death gets your toes tapping and really showcases Claire’s raw powerful vocals. 

For Old Times Sake picks up the pace and combined with its catchy chorus, you’ll be bopping along with a smile on your face. Stuck Around is a nostalgic tale of what could have been and the subtle organ under the track provides a joyful layer to fill the song. 

Claire’s opening vocals in Before evoke deep emotions, whilst If You Should See Sunshine is a gutsy rock track that packs a huge punch. Its thumping drum intro and meaty guitar sound completely encompass your whole body to move along as the song builds to its crescendo. 

Lay You Down in the Cold Hard Ground is my absolute favourite track on the album. It’s a brilliantly dirty, gritty, blues-rock track that just builds and builds, and transports you to the famous blues bars of the Deep South. I’ve found myself singing and/or humming this tune nearly every day since it first entered my radar. 

Keep On Truckin’ has an upbeat country feel and is the perfect road trip anthem with a dose of wise advice in its chorus for good measure. 

The highly emotive title track Giving It Away has Claire completely baring her soul, and sharing her deeply personal journey of grief. I managed to catch Claire’s Melbourne show recently, and seeing her perform this song live with just her piano was one of the most incredibly moving performances I’ve ever seen. The goosebumps still haven’t disappeared. 

Rounding out this brilliant album is The River Song that floats weightlessly around you before settling comfortably within your space. 

It’s one thing to be a talented singer, songwriter and musician, but Claire has the added superpower of being a gifted storyteller, whose stories have a special way of infiltrating your psyche and opening up every emotion laying dormant within you. If there is one homegrown artist you need to get around RIGHT NOW, it’s Claire Anne Taylor. 

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