Eliza Mclamb’s Ode to Girlhood: “Going Through It” – 4.5 Stars


Author: Mars Nelson

Eliza Mclamb’s debut album “Going Through It” is a beautiful invasion of privacy. As I listened to this project for the first time, I felt as though I was picking through the pages of a young Eliza’s diary. Mclamb takes a short 45 minutes to reflect on her childhood, adolescence, and her current early twenties, allowing listeners a very honest look into her mental state as she turns twenty-three (a birthday she celebrated days before the album’s release on January 19). In this spectacularly emotional ode to girlhood and with the help of Sarah Tudzin, producer for the Illuminati Hotties, “Going Through It” successfully evokes every emotion listeners can only imagine was once felt by Mclamb herself.

“Before” opens the album with an overwhelming wave of nostalgia. The chirping of birds and soft hums fill the space, reminding me of warm August evenings in the backyard of my childhood home. Mclamb yearns for the bliss that could only be felt during “the time before knowing” – a lyric that accompanies the soft plucking of an acoustic guitar. The chorus tugs at your heartstrings, waking up that “inner child” social media has convinced us we need to nurture. You can’t help but think of the hazy childhood memories you’ve been keeping in the back of your mind, yearning alongside her for a time when you knew a little bit less. The sentiment ultimately ends with the realization that we can no longer live in “the before” seeing as adulthood is ultimately upon us, hence “Glitter” through “Punch Drunk”.

A repetitive, striking electric guitar tone drives “Glitter”, perfectly accompanying the punchy lyrics (i.e “I wanna kill your boyfriend). It’s a song that embodies the angst only felt when reflecting on the various conversations between friends, comparing your terrible experiences with their equally as terrible experiences and giggling as “the bar” raises a centimeter higher with every story. This angst flows perfectly into what I can only assume is meant to represent the angst felt in your late teens (17-19) in “Mythologize Me”, a sarcastic yet desperate yet confident yet devastated plea: “Make me in your perfect image of a girl”. I haven’t turned twenty yet so I guess I can’t say this with complete confidence, but “Punch Drunk” feels like the angst waiting for me in the coming months.

As the album continues, we see Mclamb go back and forth from remembering who she once was and reckoning with who she now is. “Crybaby” uses dreamy strings and a mellow guitar melody to drown listeners in a wave of sentiment. In this love letter to one’s younger self, the innocent and the sensitive are cherished and celebrated before being immediately contrasted by a dark, brooding diary entry about a life burdened by reality. “16” uses a chaotic swell of synths and layered vocals to mimic a rush of anxiety as the lyrics start to feel angrier and angrier. I honestly think it’s a song you’d find in Lorde’s archive from when she wrote “Melodrama”.

Mclamb settles and ends the album on a note of peace and healing as if to remind us – the fellow women doomed by modernity – that in the end, it will be okay again. This album takes all of the best bits from indie pop and indie rock to create a raw, emotional journey that left my head spinning. I believe some of Mclamb’s most intelligent lyrics and musical moments lie here on “Going Through It” and it has put her on the map amongst “the greats” (Lizzy Mcalpine, Quinnie, Claud, etc.). If you’re willing to wake up your inner child and hold her tight, I encourage you to pick up this brilliant debut album from a brilliant talent.

Mars Nelson | KXSU Music & Arts Reporter

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