As discussed here last year, Star Anna is one of the true rising talents in music. The Ellensburg, Washington-based rocker finally released her latest record, Alone In This Together via Local 638 Records. The album features her band, The Laughing Dogs, and oh yeah, Mike McCready from Pearl Jam fame.
The album is full of raw rockers that show off Star’s excellent vocals and wide range. Her voice is full and always in tune, which is rare in her genre, both male and female. “Shine” is a slower, melodic track that showcases Star’s strengths. The music is soothing and has a splash ‘70s folk rock in it, a la Jackson Browne, but with also a twist of today’s alt-country.
First single “Alone In This Together” may be familiar to fans since it has been featured prominently on Pearl Jam Radio on SiriusXM. This is probably the best track on the record. Star’s voice powers the track through and gives a glimpse to what the future holds for the super talented 23-year-old. Slow guitar builds throughout the six-minute song and intensifies about two minutes in. The progression feels natural and that’s the beauty of Star Anna, nothing is forced and what is demonstrated is true talent.
Other tracks vary from the folky “Birds Without Wings” to the rocker “Time,” but again, the aspect that is common denominator is Star Anna. Of course, The Laughing Dogs deserve their fair share of credit here, but it is Star who, no pun intended, is the star of the show. Her songwriting is mature and she understands how to vary her songwriting without overextending herself, which is a major advantage for a relative newcomer.
Expectations for this record may be high due to the Pearl Jam connection, but don’t be mistaken, Star Anna and The Laughing Dogs are a talented bunch who can write some great songs. This may slip through the cracks of mainstream radio or even college radio, but that doesn’t mean this is anything less than a terrific album. Having had the pleasure of interviewing the band, from a personal standpoint, I can’t wait to see the band put on their terrific stageshow at the upcoming PJ20 concert in Wisconsin in September.Alone In This Together was released on 638 Records and is available on all major retailers.