True Panther/Harvest Records
An artists creative process is always interesting. Many people that create are constantly trying to find themselves through their work. It’s an intensely personal process that can birth something that resonates universally. In the case of Lauren Auder, it was the process of creating her last two EPs, the 2018 released Who Carry’s You and last year’s Two Caves In, that helped her discover herself and feel confident in her artistic voice. This newfound confidence can definitely be heard on Auder’s new EP 5 Songs For The Dysphoric.
The English singer, songwriter and producer has crafted a short but immensely striking set of songs here. Collaborating with Clams Casino, Dviance, soul singer Celeste as well as producers and co writers Danny L. Harle and Vancouver’s Tobias Jesso Jr., 5 songs For The Dysphoric is a wonderful statement that showcases what a huge talent Auder is.
At only 17 minutes the five songs featured here run the gamut genre wise. Album opener “Animal” is a haunting piano driven ballad highlighting Auder’s smooth baritone. Lyrically the track hits you with its elegant simplicity. The repeated chorus refrain of “That’s Not Animal” heightening in intensity as the song moves on creating a hypnotic emotional payoff. The Clams Casino and Dviance produced “Heathen” hits you with a four on the floor kick drum and a low rumbling bass line before the whole thing shatters with a disjointed, discordant arpeggiated guitar and Auder’s refrain of “To Be Sincere” and it is beautifully jarring. “Quiet” is a fine showcase of Auder’s grasp for writing super hooky vocal melodies along with powerful lyrics. Auder sings in the song’s pre chorus, “I tell you when I’m stronger/You can keep me here forever/They’ll wish that you’d wait longer, knowing/Maybe you would do better/But could they cut it up, break it all down/For you” all wrapped up in a melody that will be stuck in your head for days.
The only real criticism of 5 Songs For The Dysphoric is that it goes by too quickly. Hopefully we will be treated to a full length debut album from Auder in the near future because her music is something that begs you to spend some time in, carefully exploring every bit of nuance that this talented woman cares to share with us. It is an album that is a perfect soundtrack for your late night walks, cold air hitting your face as Auder’s songs warm up your heart.