Up until this point, I had been sleeping on Japanese-American singer & Songwriter Lisa Remar, but she’ll fly under my radar no more, as her newest single “Lankersham” immediately spoke to me, if not thematically then in every other regard.
Though there’s a clean elegance to her music, I wouldn’t exactly describe it as minimalistic -uncluttered may be more appropriate- as her guitar work is far from simplistic, and it’s probably what elevates her vocals to the realm of the truly ethereal, as it feels like the strings are being plucked from fingers far above, turning her songs into really special bubbles where time seems suspended and you’re free to dive deep into each one of them without almost any effort on your part
As much praise as I can give to the guitar, the real star of the show is Lisa’s singing, which is usually filled with wistful and touching energy capable of shutting everything outside the space that the song needs to occupy. She has a commanding and persuasive voice, a quality that comes through subtly and almost unnoticed thanks to the mellow style of vocals she seems to favor, giving her alternative soft-rock a decisive folkish edge for warmth and comfort.
Aside from the more “technical” aspects of the song, another key element shine through, and that is themes and lyrics. The autobiographical track narrates a story of tough realities bearing down on Lisa, and the subsequent rude awakening she has had to go through. “Lankersham” is about finding yourself caught in the whirlwind of someone else’s life, only to be discarded or left behind as their career moves forward. “I felt seriously stuck, sidetracked from my purpose. My reality had become so skewed and I’d grown into someone I wasn’t really proud of at all….” confides the artist, further adding “My focus had insidiously shifted into staying fame adjacent. it all ended quite abruptly, ties were cut off and I was completely drained over trying so desperately hard to seem like I wasn’t trying hard at all.” Though I can’t say I personally relate, the vividly emotional confession and Lisa’s touching vocals make it all very sympathetic, allowing you to transpose your own experiences into the feelings carried by her words.
This NYC-Native has been releasing music since -roughly- 2020 and her debut EP dropped just last year, so it’s not like we’re late to the party, and much in spite of the fact that her sound is so well polished and complete, we’re very much witnessing an artist in the truly formative years of her career, and whose growth has only just begun. Let us join Lisa Remar in this journey as she settles into the shape of many years to come.
Story: Samuel Aponte Photos: Olivia Montalto
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