A lanky, queer, flat-picking, operatically trained soprano gone rogue, singer-songwriter Lana McMullen has been described as an artist “who stands above a breadth and depth of artistic substance that is hard to ignore” (mxdwn). Her music's political undertones and overarching themes of distance and loss recall trailblazers such as Joni Mitchell and Tracy Chapman—inviting the listener to explore how values determine one's personal identity, and how identity shifts when one's values are challenged.
The singer-songwriter's 2015 debut album, Traveling Light, has been praised as a "lyrical and musical masterpiece" and a "go-to for those who find music to be the ultimate space for healing and escape" by the likes of No Depression. Featuring material from the years following Lana McMullen's move to Seattle, Traveling Light represents a rich hybrid of the singer-songwriter's Americana roots and background as a classical singer. Among its lush instrumental layers, vocal harmonies, and subtle electronic elements, the album showcases string arrangements from Seattle composer and violinist Andrew Joslyn (Macklemore, David Bazan, Damien Jurado). McMullen has shared stages with Chris Pureka, Shelby Earl, Vikesh Kapoor, and many others.