Rounding out Atwood Magazine’s recent focus on female vocalist-driven music is “Echo,” the dazzling new single by Michigan-based artist Loren (stylized “LOREN”). A catchy, dark electro-pop song, “Echo” takes advantage of everything from octave jumps to heavy bass pumps in creating a dynamic, beat-driven sonic space for newbie Loren to exhibit her evocative, clear voice and haunting lyrics.
Listen: “Echo” – LOREN
I’m still in love with an echo
Dark and pulsing, “Echo” takes us into the all-too familiar world of heartbreak: Hurt, weariness and longing etch themselves across Loren’s somber lyrics. The narrator longs for that which she cannot have, turning inward and questioning herself, her actions, her faults and her flaws.
Upon listing these emotional symptoms in the verses, Loren takes a poetic stab at diagnosing herself in the pre-chorus and chorus: “Every time I close my eyes, my biggest fears arise deep inside – I know you’re gone, but I still hear you… I’m still in love with an echo.“
The “echo” of the story is the memory of that which once was, and is not anymore. One cannot write this kind of heart-wrenching music without (a) being deeply in touch with your emotional side, and (b) going through a sizable loss.
We all deal with our demons in different ways, but how many of us are bold enough to confront them as Loren does? To admit to the desired object being an echo is, in itself, a roundabout means of admitting one’s loss: Perhaps the songwriting process was, for Loren, the catharsis she needed to overcome some great inner turmoil.
Here’s the kicker: Loren is fifteen years old. Both “Echo” and Loren’s debut single, “Runaways,” display the teenager’s abundance of musical talent and propensity for enchantingly poetic writing. The Lorde comparison is an easy one to make, and here it feels more than mildly appropriate: Lorde was seventeen when her debut single “Royals” brought the music world to a halt. Her further achievements – including a Rolling Stone cover within the year – certainly lowered the “age barrier” in terms of professional musicianship. Equally important to recognize is that Adele was only two years older than Lorde when she released her acclaimed debut album, 19. While age was once a preventative fence for young, aspiring recording artists, it seems that merit – and possibly access – have become the greater determining factors.
Listen: “Runaways” – LOREN
And so, it is with open minds and excited ears that we praise Loren on “Echo.” She has captured melancholy in a beautiful musical metaphor. Whereas Ella On The Run saw ghosts of her former lover in “Rodeo Clowns,” Loren yearned for an echo. She may be young, but that just gives her more time to hone her musical craft.
This is definitely an artist to keep your eyes out for over the next year: Loren’s debut EP The Dare will be out October 16. After that, who knows? Let’s just hope school doesn’t conflict too much with the label talks and inevitable tour schedule.