The Melbourne music scene just keeps on giving.
Every now and then, an awesome “doe-eyed kid” emerges from the creative depths of the Victorian capital.
This time, it’s Lamont – a singer-songwriter who just released her first single. And boy – what a debut it is!
“This girl’s got an exceptionally mature approach to making music”, was my initial thought after hearing “Way Out”.
The song makes you sway from the beginning, offering a few twists along the way. It’s definitely not what I expected when I was about to give it the first spin. I guess I’m just very used to receiving heaps of rock and/or electronic music submissions. So this soulful tune was a welcome change of vibe.
It also made me wonder about that new kid on the Melbourne music block.
Lamont is an independent, self-taught bedroom artist. She describes her sound as “hybrid music” created by mixing multiple influences, regardless of their genre. Based on “Way Out”, however, three styles stand out to me: indie, pop and neo soul.
What also defines her craft are the ethereal vocals and hints of vulnerability in the lyrical layer. This genuine candidness surely has to do with the female artists, like Grimes, Mitski and Marina, whom she quotes as her greatest inspirations and music role models.
Before she became Lamont, she was just another kid singing around the house, thinking about turning it into her future career. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she started writing songs when she was ten already.
According to the artist, her adventure with music “started in the most mundane way.” Like many of us, she learned the clarinet and “squeaking notes” in the primary school orchestra.
But unlike some of us, she continued to nurture her musical talent. Soon enough, she began singing and playing the piano. Composing her own songs was just a natural progression from there.
In 2016, during her first year at the uni, she taught herself Logic Pro and converted her bedroom into a recording studio. A year later, she enrolled in a Bachelor of Music (Performance) studies to never look back.
For the 20-something artist, music is her second language. She uses it as a special medium. It allows her to communicate her deepest thoughts and most vulnerable feelings that, otherwise, she would never dare express out loud.
A chronic over-sharer, Lamont weaves the unfiltered truth of growing up and the trials that often come with it in her songwriting.
Until today, she has crafted well over a hundred tunes, many of which are waiting to be shared with the world. “Way Out” is the beginning of this new chapter in Lamont’s story.
Her debut single is soaked in the unpretentious honesty, too. The first verse struck a chord with me already:
When I’m not feeling
As bright as the day
Yeah, I’m okay
I just think about
How life could’ve been
If I said those things
The song’s structure follows the narrative of deliberations that are too loud, provoking anxiety spirals and depression ruts. Lamont says it’s “a first-seat experience to what it’s like to be stuck in your own thoughts.”
Sonically speaking, “Way Out” evolves from dark lo-fi tones into relaxed neo soul sounds. It’s as if it was mirroring the experience of wandering through the dark and finding the light eventually. “Or maybe even a glowing neon sign”, adds Lamont.
Aside from the relatable lyrics, the vocals on “Way Out” are something else, too. The amount of different layers this composition boasts, including the smooth harmonies and tasteful ornaments, is pretty impressive for a debut. Lamont sounds more like a seasoned soul/blues singer than an emerging artist.
Plus, you really have to try hard to resist humming that guitar hook opening the song. And if that wasn’t enough, the bridge, introduced 2/3 into the track, takes you by surprise, too.
Lamont recalls that she wrote the song “through teary nights and long phone calls”. She was reminded of what her mother always told her: “No matter how bad things seem, there is always a way out.”
As cliché as it might sound, this attitude offers comfort and hope that any listener can empathise with; especially when things are pretty rough.
So if you’re looking for a tune to cry your heart out to and then come out cleansed on the other end, Lamont’s debut is your perfect “Way Out”.
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