When listening to Oko, Lena Fayre’s debut album, for the first time, I did a lot of giggling. She’s 19 and is already brimming with all this talent, so I really don’t know what to do other than laugh because of how good she is. I refer to this as the Steph Curry Giggle for obvious reasons.
Fayre gets those SCGs out of me because, similar to the Davidson product, her range seems to be limitless. In her earlier work, she was able to show off her pop star impression on “Love Burning Alive”, which has everything a great pop song needs: strong vocals, a catchy hook and a heavy handed innuendo pertaining to sex. All of it came easy to her.
On Oko, Fayre wisely slows things down and focuses on opening up her entire tool chest to get it to work in her favor. ‘The Tiger’s Bride” shifts from delicate to powerful seamlessly in a stripped down effort. For the most part, the instrumentals are buoyed by a single patch of drums, and with that, she’s still able to make a booming chorus that’s catchy.
By opting to go minimal, the structure of the song, or its sonic accompaniment isn’t what’s being focused on. It’s a wise move that puts Fayre’s dynamic voice as the engine of the song instead of just an alternator (I needed to call my cousin who works with cars in order to complete this clunky metaphor). On “Ophelia”, her voice conducts the song’s pace. The piano compliments her timid moments perfectly, and when she builds up to a moment, the strings soar with her.
The moments of overt liveliness isn’t as prominent compared to her EPs, but they’re each more well deserved while fitting to the flow of the album. “Games” has a droney dance floor vibe that makes everything appear to be going in slow motion. And the all over the place glitchy paradise that is “Intimacy Is Me” is a true gem. Neither have the directness of her earlier work, but it works more effectively because of the intimacy that surrounds this entire record.
Lena Fayre is only going to get bigger and better, seeing how she’s only 19 and has already gotten the modern day sultry R&B style down to a tee already. I’m expecting to do plenty more Steph Curry giggles at her music in the future. It’s why we’re excited for her to be performing at our SXSW this year…….TODAY! If you’re in town for the festivities, be sure to check us out at Darwin’s Pub. We’re kicking ass there all day from 11:30AM-6:00PM.
And if you’re not in Texas and still unsure about who Steph Curry is at this point, please watch a Golden State Warriors game for christ’s sake.