Fusing insightful jazz sensibilities with a touch of Americana and the grooves of contemporary pop, cellist and singer/songwriter Sarah Clanton delivers a performance for the ages in her all new album Here We Are, which hits record stores everywhere this November. If you’ve been paying close attention to the indie underground lately, then you already know that Clanton’s latest record has been receiving a lot of attention ahead of its release, and there’s no need to wonder why. Over the last few years she’s become one of the most buzzed about live performers in the country, and having previewed Here We Are over this past week, I can assure her diehard fans and supporters that they will be far from disappointed in what it has to offer.

Every album is anchored by a hit song, and though Here We Are contains a plethora of stunning content to fall in love with, “I Can See You” might be its centerpiece. Driven by a featherweight vocal from Clanton that weaves around a surprisingly visceral guitar riff and jazzy percussion, “I Can See You” actually took my breath away the first time I listened to it. It’s essentially a perfect amalgamation of Clanton’s southern-style sway and the intricately wound, classically inspired arrangements that she’s becoming famous for. I don’t normally say this, but this song alone makes Here We Are a more than worthy purchase for any pop music fan. I think if she cuts this track as the leadoff single for this record, she could seriously be looking at a Grammy nomination.

Sarah Clanton possesses the unique gift of capturing emotion with her vocals in the same fashion as an instrument would. Much has been said of her exquisite cello play, and rightfully so, but in my opinion there hasn’t been nearly enough attention given to her voice, which breaks us down in every single track found on Here We Are and leaves us nakedly vulnerable to Clanton’s heartfelt lyricism. There’s no escaping from her embrace once she really starts to croon, which doesn’t take much to provoke. It’s my impression that if we were to give this artist a microphone and a stage, she would give us the world in return.

Here We Are is among the most comprehensively enjoyable records that I’ve reviewed in all of 2018 and belongs in the must-listen playlist of music enthusiasts both old and young. There’s a timelessness to these songs, a sort of rustic overtone that is reminiscent of Billie Holiday or Sarah Vaughn, which cannot and should not be ignored. Artists of Sarah Clanton’s caliber come around only once in a generation, and if we don’t give her music the platform that it truly deserves we could be robbing ourselves of the opportunity to experience of our era’s most gifted performers. She’s got my endorsement one hundred percent, and I really look forward to seeing where she goes next in her career. Clanton has got the chops to go far – the question now is whether or not the rest of the industry will be ready for her.


Sebastian Cole