Songs about teenage angst are so much more meaningful coming from an actual teenager. Ann Gray is a sixteen year old Hampton Roads high school student who’s just released her debut album “The Half of It.” Forget all the “for her age” qualifications, she is a fully formed songwriter.

She has a variety of approaches to getting her messages across from the rock oriented questioning title track to the wistful acoustic storytelling of a girl going off to college, the nuanced songs on “The Half of It” are a fascinating look inside her psyche. There’s a song where she channels the main character of Emily Bonte’s “Wuthering Heights,” seeing her love interest in everything.

It is the authentic angst of the songs that is most impressive. Many descirbe the experience of growing up in the 21st century and all the challenges other generations didn’t have to face.  The vulnerability is palpable as her vocal delivery rushes past a litany of concerns with heartbreaking lines that are only savored more with repeated listens.  

With a voice that is emotive and startling, Ann Gray captures a time in most peoples lives that they have a hard time navigating much less explaining to anyone how they are feeling. That she can do so with such ease is what makes “The Half of It” really special.