Resonating with listeners can be the most difficult thing for an artist to do when trying to break into the music industry. Through catchy hooks and studio-churned pop, some newcomers would sell their soul to break big. This is not the case for LAFAWNDAH.
Certainly not one to shy away from abrasively composed tracks, LAFAWNDAH’s music is best described as disruptively artful. A former student of art history, the young singer’s latest release is easily one of the most eccentric releases so far this year. As an artist, LAWFAWNDAH is relatively new to the music industry, at least in the formal sense. With multiple mix tapes and a debut EP that impressed indie critics across the board, LAFAWNFAH’s most recent endeavor, titled “Tan,” continues on the road that brought her a niche audience of fans.
Like other out-of-place artists before her, LAFAWNDAH’s sound is otherworldly. While her inspirations are deeply rooted in world cultures compiled together, her sound is unrecognizable and inherently her own. It’s less pop than Kimbra, more upbeat than Bjork, and less perceptible than FKA Twigs; making “Tan” all the better. With a sound that would make Top 40 fans grimace, there is something highly enthralling about the unconventional approach to LAFAWNDAH’s creations. Each of the EP’s four tracks carries seamlessly across the playtime of “Tan.”
The first track, “Town Crier,” twitches and juts through unpolished electronica beats. Unconcerned with settling its listeners, “Town Crier” is a destabilized art piece elaborating at the surface, an abusive relationship. Delving further, the song makes political gestures of failed revolutions.
On the title track, “Tan,” LAFAWNDAH’s worldly inspirations are most visible. The sounds of drums backing each passing moment, with LAFAWNDAH existing in a space of entirely high notes, “Tan” is peculiar creation. It’s entertaining enough, but what makes it truly compelling is its commitment to being unabashedly different.
Other tracks like “Ally” border an oddly mainstream sound, but ultimately reel in enough of a swirling beat that early fans of LAFAWNDAH will appreciate it. With instrumentals that sound off like a siren, the track could easily be picked up by a DJ and become a dance floor hit. While certainly not the intention of the song, it’s an easily recognizable future. This theme carries over with “Crumb’” which melodizes itself completely different than any other track off of the EP. It’s a scintillating and exotic experience.
On the whole, “Tan” is a wholly atmospheric experience. As it unfolds, the densely packed layers of LAFAWNDAH become apparent. “Tan” has some small kinks; like its undying need to be so novel, but there is also something so endearing that listeners will yearn for more. The EP itself could be stretched further and elaborated on, but for what it is, it’s pretty impressive.
Rating: 4 out of 5