Watch Eliza McLamb at the Paste Magazine East Austin Block Party Presented by Ilegal Mezcal

Music Features Eliza McLamb
Watch Eliza McLamb at the Paste Magazine East Austin Block Party Presented by Ilegal Mezcal

Coral Snake Austin’s inner stage was packed, the room buzzing with excitement on Friday afternoon as Eliza McLamb took the stage for our Paste recording sessions. Sharing a four-song set, two of which were off her debut album Going Through It. Released January 19th through Royal Mountain Records, and produced with Sarah Tudzin of illuminati Hotties at Bear Creek Studio in rural Washington, this album was “like an exorcism of sorts, which feels really good to have out in the world right now,” said McLamb in conversation with our Paste Session host Brad Wagner.

Full Session


For her first song, McLamb and her band, consisting of Jacob Blizard on lead guitar, Addy Watkins on keys, Ryan Ficano on bass and Lawson Alderson on drums, played a stripped-back version of “Glitter” from Going Through It.

“Salt Circle”

McLamb has been praised for her work in other mediums, both her podcast Binchtopia and Substack being recognized for their well-written and well-researched takes. But it’s music that allows her to process her past and emotional reality the most effectively. No stranger to Paste, McLamb’s Going Through It was Paste’s Album of the Week at its release back in January, being described as “[showing] a characteristically thoughtful embrace of life’s subtleties and contradictions.” This sentiment is just as evident on this stripped down track, as “Glitter” showcases the emotional melodies present throughout Going Through It, as well as McLambs exceptional voice, which shines over top accompaniment from Blizard on guitar.

In conversation with Wagner, McLamb shared that recording in Bear Creek and working with Tudzin was incredible, as they worked on songs that represented McLamb’s childhood and adolescence. She shared that Bear Creek was instrumental in the process of excising all those heavy emotions. Not only was it beautiful and serene, the history of the place (Bear Creek is the studio where Big Thief recorded U.F.O.F) helped her “feel the energy” of the place and contributed to her musical catharsis.

For her second track, McLamb and the band played “Salt Circle” from her 2022 EP of the same name. “Salt Circle” is a powerful track, containing all the best attributes of McLamb’s writing, both vulnerable and poignant. “I’m always gonna feel it / I’ve spent enough time trying not to believe it / I’m always gonna feel the way I do / and I do feel it all, all the time,” sings McLamb’s lilting voice.

“Lena Grove”

After “Salt Circle”, the band launched right into the third song – a version of “Lena Grove” off her 2020 EP Memos with her full band. This version did not exist online anywhere, as the track was recorded acoustically to the EP, offering Paste an exclusive recording of the track in its current iteration.

“Lena Grove” sounds like a warm afternoon cruising down a long, empty road. With lyrics like “Being alone is freedom to me now / Picking up stones to pray to / I think me and God have the same roots / How can you call it home / If you can’t take it with you?” McLamb gives us insight into her rich inner world with a raw vulnerability that is hard to find.

In discussing her lyrics, and her current inspiration versus that of years past, McLamb said “this last record was a moment of catharsis and a collection of material and memory, and almost like making a letter back to myself, reflecting my experience. That was obviously very heavy and intense at times,” she added “and now that that’s done I just wanna have fun, so the newer songs might be more fun.”

Closing out with the last song on the debut record, McLamb played “To Wake Up.” It’s hard to avoid quoting every song in the session, as it’s clear how much love and attention was paid to every word on Going Through It.

“To Wake Up”

“To Wake Up” tells a story of introspection, a conversation with the self, a gratefulness for the pain along with the love, being kind to oneself and giving thanks to all the things in your life, that even waking up is a gift. It is enough to accomplish that. A beautiful end to her session with us, McLamb left an impact on everyone in attendance.

Thank you so much to Eliza McLamb, Coral Snake Austin and our friends at Ilegal Mezcal, who help us throw these amazing Paste East Austin Block Parties. Come back next week for more session coverage in store!

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