Anna Clendening is pop singer who refuses to restrain often difficult to place emotions, tackling subjects like anxiety and cheating in her music with grace. Clendening just released her first EP Waves, which has been in the works for the past three years. Waves showcases the singer-songwriter's ability to authentically transition her thoughts into songs that make listeners feel less alone. Here are six moments we related all too well with in this impressive debut EP.
When A Relationship Is Only in Your Head in "Invisible"
The EP begins with "Invisible," an upbeat synth-filled love song with a twist. Everyone's been there, having a crush on someone who pays no attention to you. Even though you're not really in a relationship with this person, in your head you think you are and feel almost all the love and pain that comes with a real relationship. Clendening channels this awkward feeling in "Invisible," singing,
"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."
When Coping With a Love Triangle in "Dead End"
Love triangles are juicy in any movie or book, but being stuck in one in real life could not be worse. Clendening sings about her toxic relationship with a boy who is seeing another girl. Sometimes we know when a relationship is holding us back, but we cannot seem to let it go and move on. "Dead End" captures the frustration and pain stemming from not being the one and only person your partner loves. The songstress cleverly sings,
"You lie on my sheets, then lie to my face
I lie through my teeth and say I'm ok."
When Battling Mental Illnesses in "Anxiety"
Next on the EP is "Anxiety." From the track's title, it is obvious to understand what Clendening is singing about, but less obvious is how common and prominent this mental illness is. With Clendening's transparency, this song properly addresses what it feels like to live with anxiety, overwhelming and impossible to escape. Towards the end of "Anxiety" there is a moment where Clendening breaks from her charming melodies and instead speaks the lyrics about her personal struggle. It is raw, intimate and highlights the courage of the young singer-songwriter. In the chorus are the lines,
"My mind's racing but I can never outrun you,
You're two steps ahead while I'm tripping over my shoes."
When You Are Afraid to Show Your True Emotions in "Bend & Break"
Sometimes one bad day feels like the end of the world, but Clendening reminds listeners it is alright to act like it is the end of the world, as long as you pick yourself up and become a stronger person. She wants people to know that they should not downplay their emotions for anyone regardless of what other people say, because everyone has bad days. The song is an empowering track with an abundance of beats to dance along to. In the pre-chorus, Clendening sings,
"Darling, you don't have to hide what you feel inside,
We all bend and break sometimes."
When Life Feels Like it Is Too Much to Handle in "Drowning"
"Drowning" is a slower song on the EP, but carries one of its most weighted yet vital messages. The dynamics of Clendening's voice are showcased in this ballad when she belts out equally as powerful lyrics. This track is about feeling like life's hardships are pushing you down so immensely that it feels like you are drowning and are unsure if anyone would care enough to save you. We all feel like we are completely alone sometimes, especially when we are going through rough patches. Although "Drowning" is about feeling helpless, listeners are reminded that other people are feeling this way too, so that they truly are not alone no matter what they go through. The singer-songwriter confesses,
"My head's above the ocean,
I'm hoping that you notice,
When You Have Trust Issues After a Painful Breakup in "Boys Like You"
After a rough breakup, it can be hard to even start crushing on someone new. But Clendening shares her process of jumping back into the dating world, and even shoutouts her mother who warned her about guys that seem too good to be true. But at the end of the day, Clendening goes with her guts, ignores her mom's cautionary advice, and chooses to pursue this new relationship. Starting over is never easy, but this track encourages listeners to take a leap of faith. The chorus begins with lines that ring all-too-familiar,
"Mama said there'd be boys like you,
Tearing my heart in two."