Stephanie Lambring is “Being Actual About Fakeness” on “Cowl Woman”

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Who publishes an album cowl that’s an image of herself with the phrase “Hypocrite” after her identify?

A courageous soul; her identify is Stephanie Lambring.

Earlier than entering into her music, “Cowl Woman,” I need to speak concerning the album cowl.

She’s largely in shadow, however mild reaches out to her face (and one lace-covered elbow). The face is the clearest and most detailed factor within the image, so our eyes look there for data. She’s smiling, and looking out towards one thing we are able to’t see. Now we have cause to hope she’s pleasant, and would possibly know one thing we don’t. We additionally see her identify, and the phrase hypocrite. It appears she’s telling us she’s a liar.

But when she tells us so, does that make her trustworthy?

Stephanie Lambring wrote songs for different singers for 5 years earlier than releasing her first album in her personal voice (2020’s Autonomy.) Hypocrite is her second album. The straightforward story to inform about that is that for 5 years she was contractually insincere, and now, free from Music Row, she will be able to inform her fact.

However the opening music “Cowl Woman” tells a extra attention-grabbing story.

It challenges the listener to query how a lot fact they really care to abdomen. She writes:

Magnificence’s on the within
Below an image of her good aspect

Lambring’s environment friendly writing units up the central stress of the music in these first two traces. The character is somebody who places herself on as a efficiency – a one-woman present about not caring what folks consider you. The issue is clear: if she actually meant what she mentioned, there can be no want for the image.

Lambring’s coaching and expertise present within the teamwork between lyrics and music on this music. All devices however the drums drop out because the character “watches on standby,” ready for a reply. We maintain our breath, ready for the return of the bass, as she waits breathless for somebody to inform her she’s fairly. The artificial texture of the devices constructs a digital-feeling world. Doubled and redoubled vocal harmonies on the refrain encompass Lambring’s voice in a corridor of mirrors, a sonic enactment of the efficiency and self-judgement described within the music.

The voice of the music takes the angle neither of the creator nor of a personality – the narrative points from a 3rd, disembodied, fearlessly nameless perspective. We observe the quilt lady behind the scenes, seeing each the masks she presents and the face she hides.

However Lambring additionally crops us within the on-line crowd that’s the viewers for this efficiency. “We” inform her what she desires to listen to. However we additionally plead, “We don’t need to consider it, can we?” Lambring leaves it to the listener to determine what it’s we don’t need to consider. The duvet lady is “being actual about her fakeness” – however is it the actual face or the fakeness we are able to’t stand?

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