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I saw first light

by Anna McClellan

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1.
Con S Sewer 05:14
Arrived home from work Called to go outside Looked up at the moon again Awaited notions to rise Wistfully perused a street Hanscom Boulevard Needed to believe tout suite That I hold the words in my heart Then I lived another moment And still one more after that Grappling with modes Internal debate Should I be a connoisseur Or a woman of fate? Believed all these years That everything would work out But at the same time My head is full of doubts There goes another moment I guess pretty soon I’ll be out Eyes dart all across the room But feet stand so still I forget the world moves too There’s a distance ‘tween my arch and the floor Creates a growing schism through which all of my intent pours Out before the world can see Who I truly am What is it ‘bout being me That I don’t understand Wait, wait up Wait, wait up for me Cause baby I’m telling everyone we had pancakes in the dark And I don’t wanna be the last one to open up my heart Tonight we’ll stay up to see the sun, Gotta catch first light My body’s movin’ as I listen to you talk about your life There’s nothing else we could be doing to make the most of our time I just wanna spend it here with you as moments pass by Oh look, there goes one And so on like they’ve done
2.
Raisin 01:57
Lighten up on the gas moving slower As we come to the mouth Of the tunnel I took that first summer Hold my breath then let it out Daylight drapes like a red carpet gown when we Pull off to see the view Feels like high stakes when I look all the way down To the depths of Weight is off in mid-float Mind is clear, clear my throat Bear witness to that which is As body-lightness sinks in
3.
Desperate 02:05
Do you wanna be the one that I come to When I feel so bad I can’t be soothed Most of the time I keep my game face on But for example in the middle of the night sometime things go wrong Truth is I’m desperate Please save me from myself I’m so desperate I can’t be helped I don’t wanna be the one who needs you more But let’s be honest I’m such a chore Maybe you need me to I won’t hold my breath I’ve already been through a thing or two Truth is I’m desperate Please save me from myself I can’t help it I need a hobby Where have you been? I haven’t seen you in weeks Please don’t leave me now I need your love, I need your sympathy I know I probably came on a little strong It’s just because well I just thought we were hitting it off I’m desperate I need your help I’m so desperate Please save me from myself I’m desperate I’ll do anything you want Cause I’m desperate
4.
Feel You 04:45
At the dawn when the first blossom rose As if the mouth of a yawn was just boredom imposed on that rosy hill With the rays of our sun growing brighter still While the clouds dosey-doed side by side In the sky There with a spark then gone with the wind I don’t know what for or how long it’s been But we’re here now And the blossoms still know when to sprout Even though it’s pretty freaky out I wanna feel you Let our hands touch and fingers intertwine No overthinking The biggest moment of our lives I wanna know you Like I’ve never known anything before Just the intuition Of our feet pressing against the floor All this bullshit of building a wall To hell with borders, let the empire fall I’ll go down with you And we can quit our shitty jobs And let the seeds that matter bloom I wanna be there When it’s sweaty and there is no fan Only intuition Of our deep connection to the land Can we go further Than we’ve ever gone before? I wanna be there To remember and to push for what is more When I go to sleep do I really wake up? Is it all a dream that sleeping made up? When I go to sleep do I really wake up? Is it all a dream that sleeping made up? I wanna feel you Let our hands touch and fingers intertwine No overthinking Not like I did all those other times It’s the end of the world As we know it and I feel just fine I wanna know you And let the passing of our lives Be like that of the sparrow just learning to fly Be like that of the sparrow just learning to fly
5.
To Prove 02:36
I’m sick of conversations where mostly men try to dominate ‘em My primary goal is to hold space but it often feels like a race I just wanna feel a connection to you Maybe we can try talking about something brand new Like the first time you felt so scared But you didn’t have the words to know What if we had nothing to prove? What if we had nothing to lose?
6.
Gotta take it slow Gotta see how I feel first Moving at the pace of the universe It’s been said that eyes are windows to the soul When I look directly into yours I have no control I attempt to let go of everything I think I know I just wanna be with you Can we Ponder all of life’s complexities So much guilt and shame I have trouble being at ease I don’t wanna small talk anymore When I ask you how you are let’s go straight to the core No sense in saving face I know you’re fucked up like the rest of the human race And oh, the darkness, it spills out from all sides Barely held by stacks and stacks of lies There’s no end to the pain Let’s share in our collective agony Nothing happens all at once Listening to birds chirp with the backdrop of the setting sun Another day we’ll have to build upon the work begun Long before a time I can perceive Let’s phase out all this deceit Find something real to believe
7.
Celery 01:15
8.
Gone 03:19
Something that I lost, cannot find it Pretty sure it’s gone, no use lying Tried so hard to get it back Piece of me I thought would last I fall right on the floor And sing none of this is working No matter how I try Looking for the wrong thing I think that thing died Tried so hard to get it back Piece of me I thought would last Now I just don’t know what to do I give up, I give up I give up, I give up I fall right on the floor None of this is working No matter how I try Piece of me missing Nowhere left to hide Ran away in the middle of the night Got so far now it’s out of sight Turned my back for too long, it’s gone Gone, it’s gone Gone, it’s gone for now Can I be sure it was even there to start Does it matter how hard I try? Coming from the wrong place Sit and wonder why
9.
Thought that maybe I’d be different Thought that maybe I should just stop caring Cause something inside me’s running Like a train ‘bout to go off the rails Always wanted to be different Never satisfied with where I’m at Turns out I needed more attention But I was too young to realize that I think I’m trying too hard I think I’m trying too hard I think I’m trying too hard And I think it’s wearing me down What does it mean to get good rest and What does it mean to be a people person? I’m trying extra just to be myself The verdict’s out on if it’s really working What does it mean to be What does it mean to be What does it mean to be a stable person? I think I’m trying too hard I think I’m trying too hard I think I’m trying too hard Why can’t I just let myself be? Why do I try so hard? Why do I try so hard? Why do I try so hard? Well it’s linked to fear and anxiety I’m sick of trying so hard I’m sick of trying so hard I’m sick of trying so hard Now it’s time to just fucking stop <sprout speech> What am I running away from? Or am I running right to it, babe? What am I running away from? Or am I running right at it, babe? Can I close my eyes now? Can I close my eyes now? Can I close my eyes now and don’t have to worry ‘bout nothing?
10.
Veronica 03:07
Stay another night so I can hold you Veronica I need your touch Do you mind being my crutch of the day? It’s ok, you can use me to Veronica could you love me? Just say yes , throw me on the bed Wrap your arms around my head And squeeze tight so I might forget it all Veronica, why is life so hard Veronica, why is life so damn hard Stay just one more hour I’m not ready to face myself I need your touch to heal my cuts Though I’m not betting on feeling better anytime soon Let’s sleep til noon Veronica, why is life so hard Veronica, why is life so damn hard?
11.
No Wind 04:39
Can’t say why I don’t trust you Can’t say why I don’t trust myself I really need to stop thinking My emotions are something to quell If truth was known in the afterlife dear Would you be less afraid to die? If you were less afraid to die dear Would you be less afraid to live? I should have bought you flowers Let you in on all my power There’s no wind in my hair When I don’t move I don’t feel the grass right there But I want to There’s no wind in my hair when I don’t move And I know that the way that I look at you Can feel stale sometimes I don’t mean it to And I don’t know why I do the things The sun on the earth knows no bounds Save for the deep blue sea all the way down And the parts of my soul I don’t let it go While I wallow and flit about On a long sad day in May The one where my being first entered the fray Why are we born of a mess then forced to clean up You must be perfect, but also confess Cause the guilt I instilled in your eyes Is roaring like a flame caught just at sunrise And it’s all too much for one child to hold A dead bird doesn’t get very old Doesn’t get very old I believed you when you said it’d be fun

about

Anna McClellan began performing original songs in her hometown of Omaha, NE at the age of seventeen and has been actively recording and touring ever since. Her debut, Fire Flames, earned her an opening slot on a Frankie Cosmos tour. Through the doors that tour opened, McClellan eventually met Father/Daughter Records which led to the release of her second full-length record, Yes and No, in 2018. After a stint in NYC, several subsequent tours and meandering, Anna returned to Omaha and recorded I saw first light, her latest effort for Father/Daughter.

The album was recorded over two weeks with a multitude of local cohorts, and it documents Anna’s journey from the Midwest to the east coast and back again, probing both the roots of her creative impetus and her ongoing commitment to social issues. The process of composing and recording I saw first light has both reformed and renewed her dedication to exploration, be it inward or external, and to her own boundless creative energy.

credits

released November 20, 2020

All keyboard/piano, electric rhythm guitar and lead vocals: Anna McClellan
All songs written and sung by Anna McClellan
Engineered by Ryan McKeever and Anna McClellan
Produced by Anna McClellan, Ryan McKeever, Sean Pratt, Megan Siebe, and Hootie Erickson
Mixed by Marina Kushner with help from Anna and Hootie
Mastered by Carl Saff
Cover photo by Anna McClellan
Back photos, layout, and drawings by Ryan McKeever

The making of this album was very much a collaborative process. To all those late nights

Special thanks for gear lending to Dan McCarthy, Jim Schroeder, Bryce Hotz

And always, thank you to my family--Mom, Dad and Natalie for believing in me

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