Washington State-based singer-songwriter Star Anna has been creating her Americana music for several years at this point. During her career, not only has her style changed with each song that she has created, she has also taken her music in different directions over the years. Having already done the solo artist, singer-songwriter type of album on the release of Crooked Path, creating a duo with Mike McCready for the “Keep On” single and gone the full band direction with her backing band of the Laughing Dogs on Alone in This Together, Star Anna has once again changed artistic directions on her most recent release.
With the release of 2016’s Light in the Window, Star Anna has stripped her sound down to a straight acoustic approach. With only her guitar and guitarist Jeff Fielder to help flesh out each track on her new eight-song release, Star Anna’s Light in the Window feels like an acoustic album. And while it is an album that features acoustic music, the album contains all new songs and not songs that were redone in an acoustic style.
The new release of Light in the Window from Star Anna begins with the album’s title track. “Light in the Window” is a track that combines a strong folk music approach to the music with a little Blues influence to add a little “down and dirty” feel to the music. That bluesy feel is brought to life by the playing of Jeff Fielder whose guitar playing add a lot to the helplessness found in the lyrics to the track. Star Anna and Jeff Fielder work well together to bring the track to life.
The album continues with the track “Leaving Song”. Although the title track of the album is pretty strong by itself, it is the second track on the release that feels like the first single on the album. “Leaving Song” is a song that contains a strong melody with a very catchy refrain. And although the track contains only Star Anna and Jeff Fielder, you can almost imagine the track coming to life with the help of an entire band backing the two musicians up. It’s almost as if this track just missed out on being included on the album Alone in This Together when Star Anna was backed up by the Laughing Dogs.
Star Anna and Jeff Fielder slow things down with the next track. The two musicians take the music of the track “Big Bad Wolf” into a definite Folk direction. With guitar and mandolin, the song’s musical approach is rather gentle while the song’s lyrics about the singer wanting to do a little role playing with her as Little Red Riding Hood and her lover as the Big Bad Wolf add both a little fantasy and a little danger to the track. “Big Bad Wolf” turns out to be one of the more creative tracks on the new release from Star Anna.
Perhaps the prettiest moment on Light in the Window belongs to the song “3×3” Containing only a single guitar and Star Anna’s vocals, the track finds her singing a song to her true love. And when Jeff Fielder adds his voice to the lyrics, a definite duet feel to the song comes through.
The Light in the Window release from Star Anna continues with yet another song that seems to jump out at the listener. Like “Leaving Song” earlier in the release, the track “Man that I Am” all but begs to be heard. The folk-rock approach to the song brings to mind something that could have been written back in the 1960s. In fact, “Man that I Am” would have easily fit alongside songs from the like of Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, even the Byrds. The song contains the same feel to the lyrics that would have come from artists like those. The song ends up being one of the standout tracks on the release.
After tracks that feature some Folk or Blues influence, Star Anna and Jeff Fielder close out Star Anna’s newest album of Light in the Window with the hardest rocking track on the release. The Acoustic Rock track of “Down to the Bottom” finds the duo letting it all out as they hit the acoustic song hard and fast. The two guitars and percussion on the track create a strong Rock and Roll vibe that leaves the listener wanting more.
When creating her albums, Star Anna always seems to incorporate several different musical directions in her songs. And even on her newest release of Light in the Window that features only Star Anna and Jeff Fielder as the only musical contributors, that variety still comes through. While the duo setting is quite a bit different from her previous releases, Star Anna’s newest album of Light in the Window still shines brightly.
To hear the music of Star Anna, check out her song “Leaving Song“.