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Next Lana goes to Cal

Junior writes, records, and produces her second album

Junior+Maren+Callaway+produced+her+own+indie+album+titled+%E2%80%9CCloudy+Blue%2C%E2%80%9D+which+is+available+on+iTunes+and+Spotify.
Junior Maren Callaway produced her own indie album titled “Cloudy Blue,” which is available on iTunes and Spotify.

Junior Maren Callaway produced her own indie album titled “Cloudy Blue,” which is available on iTunes and Spotify.

Photo by Abby Fritz

Photo by Abby Fritz

Junior Maren Callaway produced her own indie album titled “Cloudy Blue,” which is available on iTunes and Spotify.

Gabby Reid, Staff Writer

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Is Maren Callaway a junior at Cal High or an indie princess? The local musician happens to be both.

Callaway just released her second, self-produced album in March titled “Cloudy Blue,” and it’s currently available on iTunes and Spotify.

The album is definitely different than her first album, titled “Space Boy,” which includes a mix of nine upbeat acoustic songs and elegant piano ballads. 

The seven tracks on “Cloudy Blue” are reminiscent of the alternative singer Lana Del Rey’s style and vocals, and the band Beach House in an atmospheric sense. Both artists are some of Callaway’s inspirations.

Why is the album called “Cloudy Blue”?

 Track four on the album shares the same name and nicely sums up the atmosphere the album creates with soft ukulele and chillingly beautiful, silvery vocals. 

Not to mention, the lovely falsetto.

“I named it after one of the songs on the album, which is called Cloudy Blue, and I just felt like the words just encompass the whole vibe of the album that I was going for,” said Callaway. “I feel like it has a nice ring to it and I feel like it suits me as a person and the album as a whole.”

Callaway’s intentions for releasing “Cloudy Blue” are rather simple. She creates music to make herself and others happy and relaxed, not for monetary success. 

“I was more focused on just creating really chill vibes, that sounds kinda cheesy, but I really just wanted people to hear ‘Dang this is cool’,” said Callaway. “I didn’t want you to have to think about the deep lyrics or all this crazy stuff. I just wanted you to be like ‘dang that’s cool’.”

Her favorite track happens to be the third: “Bruises,” a simple but synth heavy song with otherworldly, metaphor filled lyrics. 

Callaway is particularly happy with the process in which creating this song happened. 

“Usually I write the song first, and then I go record it and figure it out.,” Callaway said. “ I finished it in like three hours. I just knocked it out. It was fun to make.”

The response from Callaway’s peers has been very positive.

“Maren’s album is straight fuego,” said junior Darian Carlisle, who didn’t initially know that Callaway made music of this genre. 

“Cloudy Blue” has something extra special about it besides the skillfully crafted songs. It is completely written and produced by Callaway herself. She wrote all lyrics, melodies, beats, and instrumentals on every song on the album. 

To make it even more impressive, Callaway recorded the album by herself at home using Logic Pro. 

“I kinda just used the internet to answer any questions I had and tried to figure it out. I used Garage Band as a kid for a long time so Logic was a pretty easy transition,” said Callaway.

Musical talent isn’t something new to Callaway. She has been writing songs since she was a little girl.

“My parents had Garage Band on their computer when I lived in Tennessee, so I was like five or six and I would just record little songs [while] singing and I’d put random instruments I found around the house in them,” said Callaway. “We listen to them now and laugh because they’re pretty cute, but yeah, ever since then I’ve just been making music and trying to make it better. I like hearing progress.”

Callaway has learned some instruments through lessons and some on her own. She took piano lessons as a kid, and still continues to do so. 

In addition, her dad has helped her learn guitar, but she has taught herself other instruments like ukelele.

Callaway has also been singing for as long as she can remember, taking some professional lessons along with being in several school choirs. 

Callaway has been in choir for years and she also worked with the instructor of the San Ramon Valley High School choir in middle school.

Nick Patton, the school’s choir teacher, only has good things to say about Callaway. 

“Maren is fantastic, and super focused,” Patton said. “She’s an excellent musician, helps others, and takes musicianship to the next level. I’m super proud of what she’s done.”

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