McClain Sullivan
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McClain Sullivan

Brooklyn, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | SELF | AFM

Brooklyn, New York, United States | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2006
Band Alternative Soul




"World Cafe Next Artist"

"McClain Sullivan is an R&B and jazz singer with a forward-leaning take on music. Originally from the Pacific Northwest and now living in Brooklyn, she has a special way with songs on her self-released debut EP, Rachel." NPR David Dye World Cafe - NPR

"Baeble Music"

“Combining John McLaughlin-esque jazz with simmering, boiling vocal intensity, McClain Sullivan channels the implosion of romantic relationship and resentment and regret (as well as hints of the good memories) into a percussive vocal delight (including some scatting!) that finds the lows of a relationship implosion without wallowing in self-pity. McClain Sullivan, we want to hear more fro you ASAP.” – BaebleMusic - Baeble Music

"McClain put's on a vocal clinic at World Cafe Live"

Brooklyn-based singer McClain Sullivan kicked off Friday’s Free at Noon doubleheader at World Cafe Live with a stunning display of vocal dexterity and charm. Though she’s not as well known as the afternoon’s second performer, City and Colour, Sullivan more than held her own, proving that she deserved to share a stage with such a big name.

Over the course of her six song set, Sullivan and her supporting four-piece band were able to play all but one track off her excellent debut LP Rachel. As she weaved her way through the album’s serene jazzy sounds, Sullivan dazzled with her incredible singing voice, expertly switching between a high-pitched whiny drawl and a rich, chocolatly bass. This became most apparent on funky tune “Happy Anniversary,” when she broke into a delightful scatting solo at the song’s climax, impersonating the deep voice of a lover before switching to her own falsettoed speech.

While her voice is undoubtedly her biggest attribute, Sullivan also had an amusing, if understated, stage presence. On “Daylight,” she lifted her lightly tattooed arms from her shiny white guitar, giving a sassy finger wag as she stubbornly reminisced about a failed romance (“I can’t begin to feel sorry for myself again / No, this is not another sob story”).

To close things out, Sullivan performed the peacefully somber final track on Rachel, “Tiny Boat,” setting the stage perfectly for City and Colour’s acoustic set. - The Key

"1340 Mag Record Review"

"’Happy Anniversary’ is a storming track. It opens the album with the aggressive tenor of Ani DiFranco mixed with the swagger of Har Mar Superstar." - 1340 Mag - 1340 Mag

"Elmore Magazine Review"

"Who knew that a seven track album– barely the length of your average television program– could serve as such an immaculately sounding musical composition? Well, it has, and should surely catapult McClain Sullivan into a well deserved, wider spectrum of musical fame. Be on the lookout for this beaut of an album- the elegant Sullivan can only go up from here, and her future surely seems bright." - Elmore Magazine - Elmore Magazine

"Ghettoblaster Interview"

Interview - Ghettoblaster Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



 Born in Seattle, Washington, McClain Sullivan has an unwavering passion for making music.  Playing guitar and writing her own songs since the age of twelve, McClain attended the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, while developing her singular style.  " I could sing before I could talk," she says.  After moves to Vermont, New york, North Carolina, and Texas, she realized that New York was truly home, and moved back, settling in to make and play music in Brooklyn. 
  Line Up Magazine calls McClain 'a bona fide super talent, about the shake the musical community to the bone.'  She has been featured in Rolling Stone Italia, Nu Soul Magazine, and Crankbox.  A touring musician for 15 years, McClain has opened for The Roots, Talib Kweli, and Souls of Mischief, and played the Savannah Jazz Festival, Fillmore Jazz Festival, House of Blues and the Hammerstein Ballroom, among others. 

  McClain's versatile talent and singular voice shines in any genre; from hip-hop and funk, to classic jazz, to confessional acoustic indie.  She strives for honesty and genuine insight in her lyrics, with a broad spectrum of influences like Ani Difranco, Erykah Badu, and Sarah Vaughan.  Her songs address the gamut of human emotion, dismantling past relationships with savage precision, incisive humor and uncontainable soul. 

Band Members