Ohio singer-songwriter Claire Lefton recently released her debut EP, Voted Second Funniest. The EP is made up of a performance of five songs, either written or loved by Lefton, that have been heavy on her mind over the last year. These songs each mean something different to Lefton but often touch on ideas of mental illness and loneliness–something we have all experienced in our own way throughout the duration of the pandemic.

Kind enough to touch on how exactly she sees each song fitting into her EP, Lefton explains that she would “love to help other people understand their emotions better through music. It’s a medium that can express feeling better than almost any other.” Lefton sets the tone for the EP with “Get It Out,” expressing the frustration she experiences as a creative person with mental illness. An oddly catchy instrumental backs lyrics that deftly explain and bridge the gap in communication between the creative and their support system that just doesn’t quite “get it.” “How hard can it be to spin into gold/to create something new/to reshape to remold,” Lefton’s lyrics explain.

Following her first original, Lefton carries right into a cover of well-known and well-loved “Landslide,” originally by Fleetwood Mac. The rest of the EP alternates between originals and covers, giving Lefton the space to express herself over instrumentals that are often as deceptively dark and conflicted as the content of her songs, and still, at times, surprisingly upbeat. A combination of quick-witted poetry and a tone that finds its place with some of our most beloved female rockstars, Voted Second Funniest carves a path for Lefton’s future releases to follow.

Cover art for ‘Voted Second Funniest’ by Claire Lefton

Dawn Jones is the curator of the V13 imPRESSED Column. Previously known as imPRESSED Indie Music Blog, Jones and her team joined forces with V13 in 2020 to collaborate on an exclusive column on V13's site (imPRESSED) to bring a niche focus to the rapidly evolving indie music genre. Dawn is also the founder of Pressed PR - a boutique PR agency that focuses on PR for independent creatives. Pressed PR’s team works on a variety of campaigns partnering with independent filmmakers, independent artists, and independent labels. Pressed PR’s music clientele has landed in the pages of Billboard, Atwood Magazine, EARMILK, HYPE Magazine, and many others.