Citing influences as varied as Sarah Vaughan, Ani DiFranco and Erykah Badu, soulful singer/songwriter McClain Sullivan seems poised for bigger and better things with the release of sophomore EP “Rachel.” The Seattle native has been writing her own songs since age 12 and attended the prestigious New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City.
There’s a touch of everything from neo-soul and folk pop to straight-up jazz — check out Sullivan’s scatting handiwork on first-rate opener “Happy Anniversary” — on an enchanting seven-track short-player that speeds by in a brisk 25 minutes. As good as this EP is, I can’t wait to hear what Sullivan is capable of over the course of full-length album.
Sullivan doesn’t miss a note on “Rachel.” In addition to the aforementioned “Happy Anniversary,” she shines brightest on “Another Mistake,” “Cool Enough,” “Drinking Song” and kiss-off gem “My Bad.” This one’s a winner, folks. (Jeffrey Sisk)