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Singer Angela McCluskey, On Her Own

Angela McCluskey.
Angela McCluskey.

Scottish singer-songwriter Angela McCluskey has a cult following. But she's probably most widely known through a car promotion; her voice is the one you hear on Telepopmusik's song "Breathe," an ad for Mitsubishi.

"Car commercials are the only way anybody's ever going to hear your music anymore," she tells NPR's Jennifer Ludden. "They're the only people taking any chances."

And McCluskey is trying to make the most out of the chance the ad has given her. The former lead singer of the Wild Colonials has released her debut solo CD, The Things We Do, to high acclaim. Recorded in only a few days in New York and Sweden, the album showcases McCluskey's extraordinary, raw vocals.

While the CD includes some upbeat pop tunes -- notably the first single, "It's Been Done" -- McCluskey confesses to preferring the more depressing, melancholy songs. "Give me a good ol' dose of misery anyday," she says, "I think it's a Scottish thing."

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Jennifer Ludden helps edit energy and environment stories for NPR's National Desk, working with NPR staffers and a team of public radio reporters across the country. They track the shift to clean energy, state and federal policy moves, and how people and communities are coping with the mounting impacts of climate change.