By Sofia Gualy
Eliza McLamb is an up-and-coming superstar with a passion for music that bleeds through all of her songs. She puts her heart and soul into every lyric and that is very clearly shown in her 2022 album, Salt Circle. Whether you have first heard of her through a random Spotify playlist or you are an avid Binchtopia podcast listener, Eliza McLamb speaks to the deepest parts of our brains that we thought no one could possibly understand. Salt Circle is a vulnerable indie folk experience that everyone should walk through.
This album delves into the hardships and strife that comes with growing up. Whether that is learning about yourself through heartbreak or loss, McLamb sings about all of the in-betweens of becoming an adult. This coming of age masterpiece analyzes the growth that one goes through during the most formative time of one’s life. These five songs truly spoke to my younger self when I thought that part of myself was long gone. Eliza McLamb helped me realize that my younger self is still very much a part of me that will always be along for the ride.
The album opens with “Doing Fine”, a term that many of us use when in reality, things are not as fine as they may seem. To me, this song seems to be her convincing herself that everything is okay because everything should be fine considering all the good that is around her, but when she really dives into how she is feeling she realizes that something is missing for her to be truly happy. I think that many of us can relate to this feeling and as the first track, it really sets the tone for the rest of the album. “Doing Fine” has a beautiful guitar instrumental that helps amplify the fragility of the theme of the song. McLamb’s gentle voice pairs perfectly with the instrumentals in this song and is the perfect opening for an incredible album.
“Pulp” explores the idea of something or someone slipping through your fingers. She sings about trying to hold on to that person or idea even though it was “never meant to last” and she knows that she knows she is “never gonna get it all back”. A truly brutal and hard thing to process in life, McLamb once again, sings a beautiful song about something that can be quite heartbreaking.
The third track on the album is called “Playhouse”. This song is my absolute favorite off the album simply based on her vocals on this track. There is something so addicting about her voice on this song that makes me want to keep it on replay as I walk around campus. “Playhouse” sings about wanting to make a picture perfect life with someone but knowing that is practically impossible for her and her partner. There is a jazzy element to this song that makes it quite different from the rest of the songs on the album.
“Salt Circle” sings about McLamb’s acceptance of the feelings that she is facing. In this song she is validating herself in the chorus saying she has spent enough time trying to ignore the emotions that she faces, but ultimately knows that she has to face these in order to step into a growth journey. McLamb absolutely crushed me with this song as it felt as if she was peering into my mind when writing the lyrics to this song. Her vocals are incredible throughout the song and the layering of her voice is my favorite part of the entire song.
The final song, “Older” feels like an acceptance song to me. It feels as if she is accepting the good and bad parts of her life and leading herself towards a comfort of knowing who she is and excitement for who she will become. This song is a lovely way to end a beautiful and sorrowful album.
Eliza McLamb’s Salt Circle is an exquisite piece of art full of raw moments that we face during our coming of age. Her stories truly speak to the listener and help them feel comforted, held, and seen in ways that we never thought we could feel again.
Written by: Hannah Walls