Anna Scouten – Anna Scouten album review

If you know Anna Scouten, you probably know her from YouTube, where her covers of indie folk hits like Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” and Bright Eyes’ “First Day Of My Life” have earned her millions of views over the past four years.

Now, Scouten has released her first EP made up of four self-penned songs and a cover of Feist’s “Intuition.” The self-titled EP, running just over 15 minutes, proves that Scouten is more than just a YouTube cover artist – she’s a talented singer/songwriter in her own right. Scouten’s four original songs are indie folk melodies that remind you of Ingrid Michaelson, Joanna Newsom, Jenny Lewis, Feist, or if go back further, Joni Mitchell. The stripped-down acoustic ballads put the focus on Scouten’s unique voice and her songwriting abilities, and she proves that she’s more than up to the task.

Taking inspiration from more than just her favorites’ sound, themes of longing permeate throughout the EP, though Scouten makes sure that things never get too heavy.

The opening song, “All Out,” is a perfect introduction to Scouten’s voice and songwriting style. Just 20 years old, Scouten sings of the frustrations of a can’t-live-with-it, can’t-live-without-it relationship with an unexpected maturity. “All the love lost over / all the lovely years I’ve known / crawl into your bed dear / it’s as if I think it’s home,” she sings.

Next comes the Feist cover, “Intuition.” A new cover for fans of Scouten’s YouTube hits, though she’s covered another Feist song(“The Park”).

Then, there’s “Just for Show,” one of the album’s standout tracks – a quirky, sweet story-song that could be twins with Ingrid Michaelson’s “Far Away.” “Monsters” is another standout and also the shortest track, clocking in at 2 minutes and 17 seconds. It’s a sweet lullaby with surprisingly dark lyrics.

“Monsters under my bed give me such a fright / Monsters in my head come out at night,” Scouten begins, before adding a tender reassurance: “I don’t mind falling as far as I can / If it’s into your arms, I’m sure that I will land.”

The EP closes with “Show Me,” a simple yet heartfelt entreaty to someone who’s hurt her. “Show me your words / Yeah, all of them hurt,” she sings.

A self-described “broke student,” Scouten is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds to create physical CDs for this EP. You can donate to the campaign here or buy the digital EP here. After this five-song sample, I can’t wait to see what Anna Scouten comes up with next.

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