Who do you think of when you think of singer-songwriters? Carole King? Leonard Cohen? Joni Mitchell? Ever since listening to White Tiger by Ana Egge, I think of her. The folk based singer-songwriter is ethereal, her voice soft and sweet, yet so emotional and powerful it could make you cry — as it did me. Her unwavering talent is evident throughout every song on this record. You will know exactly what I mean upon its release on June 8.
White Tiger is a ten track album and, coincidentally, Egge’s tenth studio album. Let me just say it now: I love every song on this album. And not just the, “Oh, it’s a good song,” kind of love; more like, “I need to force everyone I know to listen to this cover to cover ASAP,” type of love. The purity in Egge’s voice makes you wonder why you haven’t been listening to her first nine albums over the last 20 years.
The title-track is a completely flawless folk ballad with upbeat undertones that don’t go unnoticed. Her passion is laced through her every word, making it more her own than one can imagine. She’s been paving her own way, in both life and the music scene, since she was a child. Her stories of growing up under “motorcycle-riding hippie farmers” means that she went from learning to ride a motorcycle at age five to building her very first guitar all on her own at 15.
With a life like that, a life that we mostly see on TV and in movies that depict freedom, there are so many stories to tell. From North Dakota to California to Texas, Egge has travelled, experimented, learned and grown. Her evolution is personal and all of her songs depict stories and secrets that make you feel guilty for her knowing. She is so intimate in her songs and in her style that you can’t help but feel close to her.
The finale to this gorgeous record is a track that reminds me of something off Foreverly, the Everly Brothers tribute album recorded by Norah Jones and Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong. It is one of my favorite albums, taking stories and memories and putting them to a simple folk tune. Their voices harmonize in the best way and it opened my eyes up to that style of music. Egge’s “Let the Light In,” is so reminiscent of the feeling that I still have while listening to Foreverly. The feeling of love, life, and possibility. The nostalgia rings through Egge’s silvery voice and it is captivating.
Ana Egge exudes sensitivity throughout all of White Tiger. “In Tall Buildings” features Billy Strings and is the most heart-wrenching and true songs I have ever heard. With lyrics such as “Goodbye to the sunshine, goodbye to the dew/Goodbye to the flowers, goodbye to you,” you can’t help but be absorbing into this world of leaving home and leaving the little things in nature and life you take for granted to head to the big city, the corruption, the subways, and the urban world. It’s stunning and heartbreaking; a duet that will surely withstand time.