Lamorn – Encore – Track by Track
Between making his Red Rocks debut alongside his mentor deadmau5 and releasing his debut EP Encore, it’s been a busy week for electronic artist Lamorn.
It might sound cheesy and slightly prophetic, but it feels like 18-year-old electronic artist Lamorn was truly meant to be an artist. Bridging poetic lyrics with larger-than-life sonics, Lamorn’s debut body of work, titled Encore, captures the naïveté and coming-of-age saga; a collection of songs that fuses nostalgia and growth with a myriad of influences in genres like psychedelic rock to more deft, technical electronic production. It’s his ability to craft such unique, distinct songs that helped catch the eye of groundbreaking electronic music producer deadmau5, someone who now champions the rising talent and signed Lamorn to his independent record label mau5trap.
To celebrate the release of his debut EP Encore, Lamorn penned a track-by-track exclusively for 1883 Magazine to get a better insight into the tracks, the inspiration behind them, and more.
This song went through more phases and iterations than any song I have ever written and is the deepest one on the EP. It started with a completely different instrumental, it was way more indie rock. It was a track I struggled with writing vocals for over a few months, so I brought it to my friend Phil Simmonds to try and breakthrough that barrier. We started with the chorus, where we ended up doing a sort of call and response with each other. He would come up with a line, then I would, then back and forth until we came out with what is now in the track. I ended up writing a whole new instrumental around the chorus because I felt like the old one wasn’t quite doing it justice. I moved the verse that Phil wrote to the outro and decided to get more personal and specific on my own with the parts that are now the verses.
Lyrically, the song ended up diving into what was currently happening in my life. I had recently graduated high school, and my life was taking a turn into this really cool thing I had always dreamed of. I was in this transition between childhood and adulthood (and still am), and that has been a scary thing for me now and then. With that in mind, I wanted to try and fit my whole life into one song. I include a lot of my earliest memories, as well as a lot of things I am excited for and nervous about in the future. I talk a lot about how seemingly fast time moves as well, and how I personally am always looking back on times that still feel like they are happening now. That idea mixed with the fact I know I will be looking back at these cool times in my life created the lyric “looking back on right now”. That ended up summarizing how the song felt to me and feels like the entire theme of the EP. That’s why this song is the title and first track of this body of work.
This one is the newest song of the bunch. I originally intended to save it for the future, because I feel like it is where my sound is taking me looking forward. I thought it would be a cool idea to make a song made of small pieces of some of the songs in this EP, so I included chops of Lonely Light, Local Sentiment, Encore, as well as some other unreleased instrumentals that didn’t make the cut for me. Lyrically I dove into the people I care about in my life. It’s a song for all those people as well as the people I could care about if given a chance. That’s always been an interesting thought to me, how any random person you walk by could be a close friend if you were in the right situation together.
This track was a big one for me. It was among the original batch of songs I sent to deadmau5 back when things were starting up, and it was a big step toward getting a lot of the opportunities I have had this past year. It came together very quickly, mostly all in one morning. I was feeling good and wanted to make something dancy with sample chops. I originally made it with sampled blips from some copyrighted songs I can’t remember anymore but ended up replacing them with recreations I made with my sister and Molly Otto. I didn’t want to deal with the legal ramifications of going the sampling route, and it gave me some more control over the sound of the song. I remember looping the main part of the track and doing some stuff around the house when I got the groove going, I loved it so much. It’s one of my favourite tracks to play live and one of my favourites I’ve ever made!
This was yet another track that took me months to nail down. I thought of the chord progression and melody when I was in the shower one morning. I sang it over and over to myself until I could sit down and record it. I turned my minilogue to the first preset and played the chords with the verse melody into my phone. After that, I structured a basic song around that, adding the vocal chops for the dancy part. I ended up leaving it at that for a while because I didn’t love it. A few months later I came back to it and decided to do a complete overhaul on it. I wanted it to feel like a hybrid of analog and digital elements because the vocals and chords had so much life to them. I made it groovier and included warmer sounds. That made it feel like it needed to, and now I love it!
I have always had a desire to make long songs that go through different moods, and this ended up being one of them. It really turned that direction when I started writing the vocals. With the vast and airy-sounding bridge, I felt like having a completely unique outro song of its own would be a cool idea. Since the beginning is so calm and groovy, it felt like a cool dynamic to lead into. I never had many issues with this song. It was one of those tracks that seemed to flow the way I wanted the entire time, which is always an amazing and welcome feeling.
The song is about my old house. I lived there until the end of second grade, so that’s where I had my earliest memories, as well as a lot of my early childhood in general. It feels so far away now since it’s been over ten years since I’ve been there, but there is a lot of music and feeling that will forever be attached to that place. I think this is a feeling almost everyone can relate to, so I mention that in the bridge. “This is my old place, it’s my house for everyone”, poking at the idea that these songs remind me of my old house and early childhood, but they are also a place I want people to feel like they can find their memories in, as well as create memories in the future with.
Between Us/Between Us – Reprise
I feel like these songs need to be in one group because they were somewhat developed together. They both live in the same Ableton project. I think it’s well over 100 channels total. The reprise version came first, and it was the first song I wrote that took a step into this sonic direction I’m moving in now. At the time, I was keeping my alternative music and electronic music projects separate. I had the idea for this song when I was camping with some of my friends, and when I got home the whole thing came together. It felt like a real breakthrough, and I had never been so excited about a song. The vocal version started as what was supposed to be an outro to the original instrumental but ended up turning into its own thing. That one took a lot of work and versions, but when I made the vocal chops in the main drop it really felt like it became what it was meant to be.
This song didn’t feel like much until it all seemed to happen at once! I really wanted to make a housey-sounding groove, since I wasn’t doing much of that and it’s something I enjoy, so that’s what I started with. The melodic aspects of this came from another camping trip. My friend and I were on the edge of the Mogollon Rim, overlooking the silhouetted landscape, and there was a light in the distance. We couldn’t quite make out what it was, probably a radio tower, but I liked how it seemed to be the only thing in a huge sea of darkness. It was a great trip, and when I got home I felt inspired to make the whole semi orchestral intro that the song starts with, that memory of the light in my head the whole time. That quickly created the rest of the structure of the song. After that was done, Molly and I both concluded that she should try singing on it. She wrote it all at home and then recorded it in my home studio, while I sat on the couch as the song came together into what it is now.
Photography Tony Aguilera
Encore by Lamorn is out now.