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Resolute Vocalist Lauren Lee Reminds Us She's 'Still Here' With New EP

Resolute Vocalist Lauren Lee Reminds Us She's 'Still Here' With New EP
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Lauren Lee distinguishes herself with a clear uncluttered soprano as well as her cynical, spot-on sense of humor, unusually strong lyrical sensibility and acerbic chops.
—New York Music Daily
Lauren Lee
What happens when you pour your emotions into music? You get this latest EP, (I Am) Still Here, from Lauren Lee, which takes us on a journey through her fears, frustration and her joy in knowing that through it all, she is still here. The catalyst for this musical journey was a unique experience of deja vu from 10 years ago, causing her to ask the question, “what would past Lauren think about current Lauren?” Taking the time to reflect where she has been to where she now has really led to some major life changes, including focusing on her voice as her only instrument and reevaluating what’s most important to her and how to express it, both musically and personally. This thought experiment dives into the feelings we all share about life and what it all means. It also explores the questions of what would our past selves say about our current one. When listening to all these tunes together, you’ll feel as if you have processed all your past demons and are ready to move on to the next stage of your life. Lauren Lee feels exactly this when asked about her music. “Having written and performed this music now, I feel as if I am ready to shed my emotional armor and explore other areas in my music and life that I have avoided. I am looking forward to becoming more myself and exploring all the different sides of my emotions.”

“Is it Future, Is It Past”, pays homage to a pivotal moment in Lee’s favorite television show, Twin Peaks. It dives into that question with its unique art song structure. This track is a study on the unsettling feeling you’ve been in the exact same place at the exact same time, as if you’ve lived this life once before. The effects used recreates that feeling of not really knowing where you are but knowing it feels “off” somehow as it develops an atmosphere of otherworldliness. The song becomes light and airy and heavy all at the same time. The static harmony, layered vocals and effected guitars create a sense of ambiguity that makes Lee’s writing so haunting. Audiofemme captured it best, “Lee creates a swirling dream-space of interlocking vocal melodies that turns the typical vocal jazz record on its head."

The second release “If,” gives the feel of a folk tune written for the modern age. Use of the guitar and bass guitar combined with the speech-like quality of Lauren Lee’s voice, the song confronts rejection and redemption in the age of the internet. Lee asks the question, “What would happen if we treated strangers or, perhaps uninitiated, acquaintances in real life the way we do on the internet?” Lauren Lee’s honesty in her writing and approach to life’s challenges is evident in her vocalese in this tune, grabbing the listeners attention with a series of questions and reminding them that she’s not invisible. Using captivating harmonies and clever lyrics you are compelled to listen over and over.

Lauren Lee’s final tune in this release is titled “I Am Still Here.” Layered with mantra style lyrics that become secondary to the collective improvisation, this song is a meditative self- empowerment anthem inspired by standing at the shore's edge of emotions, feeling the waves crash and break on you, wondering if this is the big one that you should try to get above or under, only to realize that once you’re through, you’re still standing and breathing. She puts the listener in a trance with a mantra stated simply over four pitches: ‘wading through the depths of darkness swimming blindly toward an island I can only see in my dreams’, perfectly capturing the feeling that you are at the water’s edge with the waves breaking against you.

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