Lightyear, the new project from Lauren Zettler, has an EP out called All of the Miles and will be performing tomorrow night (11/18/11) at the show room of Piano's. You all should check out this music in either recorded or live form (or both!).
I've been digging this EP quite a bit. The music and production strike a good balance between immersive depth (different instruments and interesting textures) and sleek compactness (nothing feels sprawling or incongruous). In other words, it's both easy to listen to and engrossing. There are elements that speak to the world of indie rock, electronic flourishes, a pop sensibility, and it's also a very much a singer-songwriter record. It all comes together pretty seamlessly.
Lauren's voice doesn't sound exactly like anyone else's, but fits comfortably in the company of others I enjoy, reminding me of Laura Veirs on opening track "Home," for instance. She often wisely plays off herself to create interesting harmonies. I like this on "It Beats," in particular, as it lends a rhythmic vibe that mimics the heart, which is the subject of the lyrics. Speaking of that, the lyrics are quite strong as well. Each song offers something insightful (like a look at the traits and characteristics of one's heart on "It Beats"), emotionally resonant (like the utterly gorgeous and deeply loving sentiment of "Lullaby") or thought-provoking (like the question "What do you do when you're alone?" in "When You're Alone).
All of the Miles is just five songs, but all are memorable. "From Here," is quite a powerful closing track. Lauren sings an oft-asked question "Where do we go from here?," and while she alludes to the open-ended nature of the question by singing "we can sink or swim," I like to think the subtly detailed music on the track, driven largely by acoustic guitar and xylophone, conveys a sense of tentative optimism. It's not always easy to move boldly and quickly ahead, but sometimes a little momentum and a little belief are all it takes. You never know what can build into something much bigger; it's often a self-perpetuating process. It's a cool way to end things, and I believe also representative of what we can expect from this burgeoning artist – more great music.
All of you in the New York City area have the chance to see Lightyear tomorrow night. On a bill with You Won't (also featured on TWD, twice), Spanish Prisoners, and Ski Lodge, Lightyear takes the stage at 8:00 PM at Piano's. Doors at 7:00 PM, cover is $10. Venue website and tickets are available here.