Lena Fayre – “Cry”

Watch the “Cry” Video: https://vimeo.com/163996978

Lena Fayre’s brief career has, nevertheless, proven quite eventful. She has released one full length album, a number of singles, and two EPs since her 2013 emergence. The work has been of a uniformly high quality and characterized by often astonishing diversity. Despite the high gloss modern production values, all the more amazing considering the do it yourself ethos propelling her projects forward, Fayre’s work solidly falls within the singer/songwriter tradition and shows a seriousness of intent that strikes an interesting contrast against its commercial aims. Her newest single “Cry” is a fantastic next step in her career and proves her mettle as an outright pop singer yet again.

There is a more sharply commercial edge to this than some of her other songs thanks to the dominance of keyboard, basic percussion, bass and the clear structure of the song generating dynamic tension between the verses and chorus. Fayre’s vocal performance makes a great deal of that tension – she moves from each section with surefooted grace and locked onto the song’s rich vocal melody. The song doesn’t require her to engage in pyrotechnic displays of her range, but she applies vivid phrasing to the song’s lyrical content and emotes with just the right amount of passion rather than slathering the lyrics with overwrought sentiment.

The bass really sets the mood musically. There’s a lightly ominous undertow to the backing track that never threatens to dominate things, but definitely sets a defining tone from the outset. Fayre expertly deploys the keyboards and stresses them, naturally, during the chorus. It’s impressive how the chorus manages to scale such stirring heights while never surrendering the track’s initial mood and the key to this happening is how Fayre embraces the emotion of the moment with such zest while still remaining attentive to the emotions unifying the song.

Lena Fayre is a refreshing breath of air in a scene that’s grown quite stale. She manages to synthesize melodic and pop strengths with an intelligent lyrical point of view while never succumbing to self indulgence and losing her message. She shows a truly professional eye for her craft that reaches far beyond her nineteen years in the way she streamlines her performance as close to the musical backing as possible. All too often singers try to overwhelm or sing over the top of their arrangements and the resulting dissonant effect undermines even the best material.

The latest single from Lena Fayre is among the finest sonic-alt-pop you are likely to encounter today. “Cry” strikes far beyond the usual territory of disappointed love songs or odes to heartbreak and, instead, presents listeners with a fully integrated musical work of surprising maturity and textual depth. The latest in a string of memorable singles is arguably Fayre’s best musical work yet and hints at an increasingly bright future to come. Any open-minded admirer of pop will enjoy this work and find it stands up to repeat listening.

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David Shouse