Lowell singer songwriter Renee Lamy has said in interviews that she likes genres of music with the guitars and live drums that self-contained audio workstations have pushed out of the genre she’s setting her roots in — pop. Perhaps fittingly, Lamy’s most recent release, Losing Game, drags those elements back from exile to deliver a stellar track.
Dropped across her streaming platforms on last month, Losing Game is unquestionably a pop song. Lamy’s smooth vocals alone suggest that. The song’s general slow and gentle pace and vibe, interspersed with moments of aggression and volume cement that.
Even within that pop framework, though, Lamy seems able to produce a song that strips the genre of its most common contemporary crutches and replaces them with the sturdy musical pillars that are clean drums and electric guitar.
Losing Game tells the story of a relationship gone wrong. Toxic for both parties, Lamy wrestles with the decision of prolonging the end, or cutting off what is a ‘losing game’ after all. She does so with deep, mournful narration that, at times, seems to artistically strain to climb in volume and pitch only to be metaphorically dragged back down by the mood and topic of the song.
She sings on top of those aforementioned solid drum and guitar tracks.
The guitar stands most prominently in the mix, serving an ultra-clean sound as its player plucks a brooding riff in the intro and choruses before giving way to simple single note picking in the verses. The guitar wails and groans alongside Lamy throughout the song, only punctuated by those sharp verse notes which effectively mirror the track’s persistent drumming.
Lamy, a drummer who plays many of her gigs with just a cajon on stage with her, has left this song’s rhythmic components like those at its forefront. Even when the bass drums and snare hits hide in the mix in the verses, that prominent guitar maintains a simple 1-2 beat with little instrumentation beyond that. Then, as the guitar intensifies into an array of riffs and scales in the chorus, the drums intensify to preserve the rhythmic experience that is Losing Game.
All and all, this song is a gem from what hopefully will become a well-known name in the Lowell scene and beyond. As Lamy continues on that track, and, assuming she continues to provide a home for this type of instrumentation in a genre that’s indifferent at best towards it, I’ll be happily listening along.