With her EP Lifetime, Lauryn Marie takes listeners through five different yet relatable stories. Written in her freshman year of college, she explores lingering memories, walking alone at night, toxic relationships and imaginary lives. With a musing feeling to the EP, she combines lo-fi synths with whispering guitars and the strings of her friend Elizabeth Piper.
While Marie is still a student at Belmont University, her music has a maturity that belies her years. Combined with the fact that she recorded and produced the EP herself in her bedroom, you can see why you should keep an eye on her musical trajectory. Using lyrics that tell meaningful stories and melodies that captivate the senses, she reaches out to each listener on a personal level and welcomes them into her sonic world.
The EP opens with ‘Insecure’ which delves into being haunted by the memory of someone who has been out of your life for a long time. The light plucky tones melody creates a soft space for you to fall into the overwhelming memories of the lyrics. While the melody has a rather light feeling, the vocals are a little at odds with this. The uneasy emotions of the vocals perfectly capture being haunted by the memories that leave you feeling off-kilter and insecure in what you are doing. The contrast of the softness of the melody and light harmonising echoes with the emotions of the vocals is masterfully handled.
‘Daisy’ has an earthier folk feeling as the acoustic guitar strums through the soundscape. The melody sends you to spring days sitting under a tree talking with a friend. The lyrics tell the story of toxic relationships which is also rather at odds with the light and almost playful vibe of the music. Told from the point of view of a friend trying to warn a friend, the vocals pull at your emotions as you hope the lyrics are getting through. The use of the movement of ‘Daisy Bell’ by Harry Dacre is an interesting choice but works really well. The well-known refrain from the original is turned into Daisy’s realisation that her relationship is no good and finally taking the steps to get away.
The folky tones of the last track give way to the darkest song on the EP ‘Walk’. The acoustic guitar has a deeper feeling to its strumming tone while a creeping tone lingers in the background. Through the lyrics, Marie perfectly brings the fear many people, particularly women, feel as they walk in the dark. The storytelling movement of the lyrics dives into the precautions people take and the grip of fear and panic that takes hold while out on a walk. For all the gentle movements of the track, it really gets your heart racing with the fear of what could happen. This is really a stunning track that gently packs the fear of a seemingly innocuous act into the most beautiful arrangement.
‘Spider’ brings a serious hit of folk tones as Maire draws you into the musings of how spiders remind her of certain people. The piano line is tender rises against the guitar. There is a late-night feeling to this track that makes it feel like Marie is whispering a confession to the dark. Through the gentle movement of the lyrics, she brings the conflicting emotions we feel about certain people. This is wrapped around the knowledge that the relationship we have with these people is potentially not the best. The doubts and concerns she raises are so easy to connect with making this an outstanding track.
The EP comes to a close with the title track ‘Lifetime’ which features Elizabeth Piper. The easy feeling of the melody has you swaying into the vocals and story of the track. There is a touch of loneliness and sadness in the track but this is tempered by an imagined relationship. The pain of unrequited love comes through with the help of the strings calling from the background. As the song progresses, there is a lighter movement as you start to let go of the relationship you hoped for that never happened. While sad at the start, the track moves to something hopeful as you move on from everything you imagined.
Lauryn Marie fills you with the softness of folk only to temper it with a wash of emotions through her vocals in the tracks of Lifetime. Each track tells its own story but they all connect through Marie’s folk style. Touching on relatable tales and experiences, Marie has you sinking into her sound without a care in the world.