On her fourth release, Canadian singer-songwriter Gianna Lauren brings raw honesty and fragile volatility, looking at the data-driven reality in which music, like all content, is measured by the number of streams and likes. The latest EP, Vanity Metrics, was recorded in just four days, immediately following Lauren and her band's two-week tour. The result is the collection of five atmospheric songs imbued with the spirit of collaboration and a touch of fog on the shores of Nova Scotia.
The art rock sound of the record was also influenced by the playlist that Gianna Lauren was accompanying at the time. Weyes Blood, Big Thief or Mitski were not missing. The echoes of the latter artist in particular can be heard with their familiar fragility and roughness.
The opener "Spark" was written in the night session during the recording of the EP. Lauren plunges deep into the hazy and somber mood of the 90s and haunted a story of unrequited love: "Before I die, I want to tell you I love you / but while I live / I'll hide". "Whoa" brings this brilliant combination similar to Aidan Knight on his LP "Each Other" – velvet vocals, dreamy guitar and synth duo and brass – in comfortable harmony.
The lead single from this record, "Closed Chapter", is pretty claustrophobic on a lyrical level. Lauren sings "It's the same old story I can't tell" to get out of the endless circle, but it's also a catchy rock song with a crispy guitar, throbbing drums, and graceful horns. All band members complement each other very well. Also with the next song, calm and popular "Innocent Tourist". As we can read on Lauren's Bandcamp about the making of the Vanity Metrics, "Much of the album was recorded live from the ground, capturing a current driven by collaboration (and a touch of exhaustion)." In fact, you can hear this type of electricity.
The album ends with "Disappear", the song that sounds like a lonely walk in the rain. It becomes more and more blurry with every step.
Vanity Metrics isn't a happy, uplifting album, but it brings an air of comfort, that kind of understanding, when we're tired of struggling with bitter feelings and reckless algorithms, we tend to ceaselessly look for art and human connections.