The reign of Lauren Isenberg, better known as renforshort (Polydor), has started and there’s no stopping her. The 17-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter went from posting covers on YouTube to signing a record deal with Geffen Records/Interscope in no time. Lauren is not short on talent (see what we did there?), in 2019 she amassed over 5 million streams with her first songs ‘Waves’ and ‘Mind Games’ only. If you ever need a quick recap on her journey, just know that she started writing songs at age thirteen while perfecting her singing at various open mic nights in Toronto, her hometown. The girl even won a talent show by singing a traditional Chinese song ‘Mo Li Hua’, and yes she sang it in Mandarin!
The alt-pop singer who calls her music ‘tastefully weird’ does not mince her words when she writes, which makes her songs even more relatable for that chaotic part of our minds. Her lyrics are deeply cathartic and are necessary for our souls’ wellbeing. Tim Burton’s long lost daughter came out with her first EP ‘Teenage Angst’ earlier this year and it’s the epitome of the teenage state of mind with a hint of Billie Eilish and Lorde. The record acts as a diary for the singer and it’s everything you expected and more: a bubbling cauldron of angst, frustration, rage, love, and anxiety, all brought to the boil by ‘i drive me mad’. renforshort uses the latter to bring us to the darkest corners of her mind and perfectly illustrates the whirlwind of emotions caused by a panic attack with an ingenious tempo that goes crescendo until it crashes into the chorus, the song paints an honest image of the terrifying feeling.
‘Water turns to vodka, apple juice to rum. you kiss her on her neck then tell her to leave when you’re done’. It’s with bitter melancholy that Lauren lays her vocals on ‘tastefully depressed’, a gentle yet uneasy ballad about the artist’s fear of growing both up and old. In this strangely comforting song, the 17 years old artist raises questions about what adult life could bring and how the lack of answers can easily turn into fear and anxiety, an all too familiar feeling for everyone who has ever been seventeen. ‘Tastefully depressed’ is the softest way to end this EP that dedicates a song to each and every state of mind.
Here at TBC, we hold every song of hers close to our heart. We also had the opportunity to see her live in February in Paris during Interscope/Polydor’s 2020 New Talents showcase and we can confirm, her performance was amazing. We would like to think that everyone will find a reflection of themselves in this EP that may help us even more in these strange and difficult times. To put it in a nutshell, ‘Teenage Angst’ is the perfect record to listen to when you’re feeling blue.
Favourite tracks: i drive me mad, new way and tastefully depressed.