Anna Coogan 'The Wasted Ocean' Self-Released

This album draws from Coogan's past experience as a fisheries biologist and as a kayaker on the whitewaters of New  England. This is evident also in the cover design and from her sleeve note. But what concerns us here is the music which has Coogan soft voice at it's centre along with her songs, some of which pick up on the sea theme. The Sons Will Join Their Fathers and follow them to sea where the salt in their veins is a strong pull. Love Without Strings alludes to distance and belief. Life In A Peaceful World showcases Coogan's distinctive high-register voice and the simple ensemble playing of the band led by producer Evan Brubaker. The music is a mix of folk and indie rock with subtle textures of banjo, mandolin, dobro, viola, violin and Hammond organ. Very much the tools of the roots music trade these days. Water, wind and waves with movement and the parting of people are themes woven into the tapestry of these songs. To the point where in A Little Less Each Day that the subject misses their love in that way. Many of these songs are plaintive and full of longing. Come Ashore, Love feel like an age old song but its timelessness is what makes it special. One of the few outside songs is Phil Ochs' The Crucifixion given an extended pure-voiced reading that makes it sit easily alongside her own songs. The Wasted Ocean is full of the tides that rule many lives and is to be applauded for the way that Coogan has been able to use the overall concept as the heart of these songs and in her individual, fragile voice.